Rapid, noninvasive detection of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes by near-infrared spectroscopy

Jill N. Fernandes, Lílha M.B. Dos Santos, Thaís Chouin-Carneiro, Márcio G. Pavan, Gabriela A. Garcia, Mariana R. David, John C. Beier, Floyd E. Dowell, Rafael Maciel-de-Freitas, Maggy T. Sikulu-Lord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaat0496
JournalScience Advances
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 23 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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