Applications of a sugar-based surveillance system to track arboviruses in wild mosquito populations

van den Hurk, Andrew F., Hall-Mendelin, Sonja, Townsend, Michael, Kurucz, Nina, Edwards, Jim, Ehlers, Gerhard, Rodwell, Chris, Moore, Frederick A., McMahon, Jamie L., Northill, Judith A., Simmons, Russell J., Cortis, Giles, Melville, Lorna, Whelan, Peter I., and Ritchie, Scott A. (2014) Applications of a sugar-based surveillance system to track arboviruses in wild mosquito populations. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 14 (1). pp. 66-73.

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Effective arbovirus surveillance is essential to ensure the implementation of control strategies, such as mosquito suppression, vaccination, or dissemination of public warnings. Traditional strategies employed for arbovirus surveillance, such as detection of virus or virus-specific antibodies in sentinel animals, or detection of virus in hematophagous arthropods, have limitations as an early-warning system. A system was recently developed that involves collecting mosquitoes in CO2-baited traps, where the insects expectorate virus on sugar-baited nucleic acid preservation cards. The cards are then submitted for virus detection using molecular assays. We report the application of this system for detecting flaviviruses and alphaviruses in wild mosquito populations in northern Australia. This study was the first to employ nonpowered passive box traps (PBTs) that were designed to house cards baited with honey as the sugar source. Overall, 20/144 (13.9%) of PBTs from different weeks contained at least one virus-positive card. West Nile virus Kunjin subtype (WNVKUN), Ross River virus (RRV), and Barmah Forest virus (BFV) were detected, being identified in 13/20, 5/20, and 2/20 of positive PBTs, respectively. Importantly, sentinel chickens deployed to detect flavivirus activity did not seroconvert at two Northern Territory sites where four PBTs yielded WNVKUN. Sufficient WNVKUN and RRV RNA was expectorated onto some of the honey-soaked cards to provide a template for gene sequencing, enhancing the utility of the sugar-bait surveillance system for investigating the ecology, emergence, and movement of arboviruses.

Item ID: 32501
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1557-7759
Keywords: arbovirus, mosquito, surveillance, control, Australia
Funders: Queensland Health Communicable Diseases Unit
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2014 05:29
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110899 Medical Microbiology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110804 Medical Virology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 100%
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