Active surveillance for dengue (DEN) virus infected mosquitoes can be an effective way to predict the risk of dengue infection in a given area. However, doing so may pose logistical problems if mosquitoes must be kept alive or frozen fresh to detect DEN virus. In an attempt to simplify mosquito processing, we evaluated the usefulness of a sticky lure and a seminested reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay (RT-PCR) for detecting DEN virus RNA under laboratory conditions using experimentally infected Aedes aegypti (L.) mosquitoes. In the first experiment, 40 male mosquitoes were inoculated with 0.13 μl of a 104 pfu/ml DEN-2 stock solution. After a 7-d incubation period, the mosquitoes were applied to the sticky lure and kept at room temperatures of 23–30°C. Following 7, 10, 14, and 28 d application, 10 mosquitoes each were removed from the lure, pooled, and assayed for virus. DEN virus nucleic acid was clearly detectable in all pools up to 28 d after death. A second study evaluated sensitivity and specificity using one, two, and five DEN-infected mosquitoes removed after 7, 10, 14, 21, and 30 d application and tested by RT-PCR. All four DEN serotypes were individually inoculated in mosquitoes and evaluated using the same procedures as experiment 1. The four serotypes were detectable in as few as one mosquito 30 d after application to the lure with no evidence of cross-reactivity. The combination of sticky lures and RT-PCR show promise for mosquito and dengue virus surveillance and warrant further evaluation.
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Vol. 38 • No. 5