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Rapid and non-desctructive detection of Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti by near-infrared spectroscopy

Maggy T. Sikulu-Lord, Marta F. Maia, Masabho P. Milali, Michael Henry, Gustav Mkandawile, Elise A. Kho, Robert A. Wirtz, Leon E. Hugo, Floyd E. Dowell, Gregor J. Devine
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2016 v.10 no.6 pp. e0004759
Aedes aegypti, Wolbachia pipientis, biological control agents, diagnostic techniques, disease control, females, males, microbial detection, monitoring, near-infrared spectroscopy, nondestructive methods, polymerase chain reaction, rapid methods
The release of Wolbachia infected mosquitoes is likely to form a key component of disease control strategies in the near future. We investigated the potential of using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to simultaneously detect and identify two strains of Wolbachia pipien- tis (wMelPop and wMel) in male and female laboratory-reared Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Our aim is to find faster, cheaper alternatives for monitoring those releases than the molecu- lar diagnostic techniques that are currently in use. Our findings indicate that NIRS can differ- entiate females and males infected with wMelPop from uninfected wild type samples with an accuracy of 96% (N = 299) and 87.5% (N = 377), respectively. Similarly, females and males infected with wMel were differentiated from uninfected wild type samples with accura- cies of 92% (N = 352) and 89% (N = 444). NIRS could differentiate wMelPop and wMel transinfected females with an accuracy of 96.6% (N = 442) and males with an accuracy of 84.5% (N = 443). This non-destructive technique is faster than the standard polymerase chain reaction diagnostic techniques. After the purchase of a NIRS spectrometer, the technique requires little sample processing and does not consume any reagents.