Surveillance of mosquito infection status is critical for planning and deployment of proper mosquito control initiatives. Point-of-care (POC) detection assays are necessary for monitoring the infection prevalence and geographical range of viruses in mosquito vector populations. We therefore assessed the novel real-time PCR (qPCR) bCUBE (Hyris, London, UK) molecular diagnostic system as a tool for virus detection.
Aedes aegypti Rps17 was used to validate and determine correlation coefficient for the novel bCUBE qPCR system to a laboratory standard StepOnePlus real-time PCR system (Applied Biosystems, Waltham, MA, USA). Experimentally infected Ae. aegypti were quantified for Zika (ZIKV) and dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV2) viral genomic RNA. Infection prevalence was compared to plaque assay.
We developed and validated a novel qPCR system for the detection of ZIKV and DENV2 using the real-time qPCR system bCUBE. With bCUBE-based qRT-PCR, viral genomic RNA could be detected in individually infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes and in pools of 5, 10 or 15 mosquitoes.
The portable qPCR bCUBE diagnostic system is capable of detecting Zika and dengue virus in mosquitoes and therefore has potential as a practical field-deployable diagnostic test for vector-borne disease surveillance programmes.