A Rapid Field Test for Detecting Infected Mosquitoes
Joanne Macdonald from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia will develop a simple diagnostic test that can be used in the field to rapidly identify mosquitoes infected with pathogens such as the malaria parasite and dengue virus. Traditional methods require costly equipment and a laboratory setting. The test combines recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) with a lateral flow strip and can detect DNA from multiple pathogens in parallel, which will reduce costs. They will first perform a proof-of-concept study using laboratory-infected mosquitoes to evaluate the test and develop smart-phone software to translate the results. They will then perform field trials in Cairns to evaluate if their test can detect single infected mosquitoes placed in field traps containing uninfected insects.