The accelerating global spread of arboviruses, such as Zika virus (ZIKV), highlights the need for more proactive mosquito surveillance. However, a major challenge during arbovirus outbreaks has been the lack of rapid and affordable tests for pathogen detection in mosquitoes. We show for the first time that near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a rapid, reagent-free, and cost-effective tool that can be used to noninvasively detect ZIKV in heads and thoraces of intact Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with prediction accuracies of 94.2 to 99.3% relative to quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). NIRS involves simply shining a beam of light on a mosquito to collect a diagnostic spectrum. We estimated in this study that NIRS is 18 times faster and 110 times cheaper than RT-qPCR. We anticipate that NIRS will be expanded upon for identifying potential arbovirus hotspots to guide the spatial prioritization of vector control.
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