Searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack: advances in mosquito-borne arbovirus surveillance

Ramírez, Ana L., van den Hurk, Andrew F., Meyer Steiger, Dagmar B., and Ritchie, Scott A. (2018) Searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack: advances in mosquito-borne arbovirus surveillance. Parasites and Vectors, 11. 320.

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Surveillance is critical for the prevention and control of mosquito-borne arboviruses. Detection of elevated or emergent virus activity serves as a warning system to implement appropriate actions to reduce outbreaks. Traditionally, surveillance of arboviruses has relied on the detection of specific antibodies in sentinel animals and/or detection of viruses in pools of mosquitoes collected using a variety of sampling methods. These methods, although immensely useful, have limitations, including the need for a cold chain for sample transport, cross-reactivity between related viruses in serological assays, the requirement for specialized equipment or infrastructure, and overall expense. Advances have recently been made on developing new strategies for arbovirus surveillance. These strategies include sugar-based surveillance, whereby mosquitoes are collected in purpose-built traps and allowed to expectorate on nucleic acid preservation cards which are submitted for virus detection. New diagnostic approaches, such as next-generation sequencing, have the potential to expand the genetic information obtained from samples and aid in virus discovery. Here, we review the advancement of arbovirus surveillance systems over the past decade. Some of the novel approaches presented here have already been validated and are currently being integrated into surveillance programs. Other strategies are still at the experimental stage, and their feasibility in the field is yet to be evaluated.

Item ID: 58737
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1756-3305
Keywords: Arboviruses; Honey-based surveillance; Mosquito; Next-generation sequencing; Sentinel animals; Surveillance
Copyright Information: © 2018 The Author(s). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Funders: Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC research fellowship 1044698
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2019 00:31
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3207 Medical microbiology > 320705 Medical virology @ 100%
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