News & Events
A new method for analyzing mosquitoes for viruses is presented.
- April 10, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
If in a certain geographical area there is a presence of a fairly large number of various insects – especially mosquitoes – then they are often considered as a kind of danger in the context of the potential spread of certain dangerous viruses. It becomes clear that it is necessary to find another way to identify viruses, based on insects – which is what the team at the James Cook University of Australia has done, presenting its new, redesigned concept of a special mosquito trap that captures parts of their feces.
This approach turned out to be an order of magnitude easier, cheaper, and faster, unlike many traditional options for collecting mosquito genetic information to determine whether they are carriers of viral diseases or not. The trap itself is a slightly reworked version of a conventional mosquito trap with a sticky surface, but which primarily collects insect feces, since it, unlike blood or mosquito saliva, often contains more compounds and cells that are needed to study.
And unlike the usual collection of saliva with its subsequent chemical analysis, it takes only three days to find traces of viral infections in the mosquitoes feces in a new trap instead of two weeks of a preliminary process. It becomes clear that with such an approach it is possible to quickly and at the same time inexpensively determine in which regions the threat of infection with one or another virus is highest – which can be a great help for poor or troubled places in infrastructure.
So far, the new type of mosquito trap is at the preliminary testing stage, but very soon the team will present the final iteration of their device – which will receive a wide commercial move. What would be a particularly excellent acquisition for medical institutions in those countries and regions of the world where, due to poor infrastructure and other difficulties, there is almost no way to test for viruses in the traditional way.