Stability of West Nile Virus (Flaviviridae: Flavivirus) RNA in mosquito excreta

Ramírez, Ana L., Hall-Mendelin, Sonja, Hewitson, Glen R., McMahon, Jamie L., Staunton, Kyran M., Ritchie, Scott A., and van den Hurk, Andrew F. (2019) Stability of West Nile Virus (Flaviviridae: Flavivirus) RNA in mosquito excreta. Journal of Medical Entomology, 56 (4). pp. 1135-1138.

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Arbovirus surveillance is crucial for the implementation of vector-borne disease control measures. Recently, it has been demonstrated that mosquitoes with a disseminated arbovirus infection excrete viral RNA, which can be detected by molecular methods. Thereby, mosquito excreta has been proposed as a sample type that could be utilized for arbovirus surveillance. In this study, we evaluated if West Nile virus (Kunjin strain, WNVKUN) RNA in Culex annulirostris Skuse (Diptera: Culicidae) excreta deposited on different substrates could be detected after storage for up to 2 wk at tropical conditions of high heat and humidity. No significant drop in relative quantity of WNVKUN RNA (determined by comparison of Ct values) in excreta deposited on Flinders Associate Technologies (FTA) cards was observed over 14 d, suggesting that RNA was stable for that time. There was no significant difference in relative quantity of WNVKUN RNA in excreta deposited on FTA cards or polycarbonate substrates after 24 h. However, after 7 and 14 d, there was a significant decline in the relative quantity of viral RNA in the excreta stored on polycarbonate substrates. For incorporation in arbovirus surveillance programs, we recommend the use of polycarbonate substrates for excreta collection in mosquito traps deployed overnight, and the integration of FTA cards in traps serviced weekly or fortnightly. Polycarbonate substrates facilitate the collection of the majority of excreta from a trap, and while FTA cards offer limited area coverage, they enable preservation of viral RNA in tropical conditions for extended periods of time.

Item ID: 59780
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1938-2928
Keywords: mosquito, arbovirus, excreta, viral RNA stability, surveillance
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2019.
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Forensic and Scientific Services (FSS), Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC grant number 1131932, NHMRC research fellowship 1044698, FSS research and development grant RSS17-031
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 04:28
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420315 One health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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