A cheap and effective tool that could save lives by helping health authorities target mosquitos infected with Zika virus has been developed by researchers from the University of Queensland and colleagues in Brazil.
Dr Maggy Sikulu-Lord and Dr Jill Fernandes, at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, found Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) was 18-times faster and 110-times cheaper than the current detection method.
“We can quickly identify mosquitoes that are infected with Zika virus so public health authorities can treat affected areas before disease spreads to humans,” Dr Sikulu-Lord said.
“This is definitely going to be a game-changer in disease surveillance, especially in the prediction of disease outbreaks.
“It only involves shining a beam of light onto mosquitoes and using that information to determine if the mosquito is infected.”
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause abnormalities in unborn babies and is linked to the rare paralysing condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).
Dr Sikulu-Lord hopes the World Health Organisation will use NIRS in countries where Zika is endemic.
“We hope public health authorities can use it to predict future disease outbreaks and save lives by treating mosquito populations in time.”
She said the technology had potential to detect a number of diseases.
“We hope to have results for detecting dengue and malaria in mosquitoes in the next few months.
“We don’t think it will eradicate diseases but it will give us the ability to detect diseases quickly so that we can stop disease outbreaks.”
So far, NIRS technology has been shown to have a 94 to 99 per cent accuracy rate in identifying infected mosquitoes under laboratory conditions in Brazil.
The team, which includes researchers Dr Rafael de Freitas and his team (Fiocrus, Rio de Janeiro) Dr John Beier (University of Miami) and Dr Floyd Dowell (USDA), is testing the accuracy of the technique under field conditions in Rio de Janeiro.
The Latest on: Disease surveillance
via Google News
The Latest on: Disease surveillance
- Premier Medical Laboratory Services Launches Large-Scale Genomic Surveillance of COVID-19 Variants | Morningstaron March 4, 2021 at 12:13 pm
While COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in hopes of reducing the impact of the pandemic, novel variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are spreading at accelerated rates. (1) ...
- SARS-CoV-2 mutations can complicate immune surveillance of human T-killer cellson March 4, 2021 at 8:03 am
The body's immune response plays a crucial role in the course of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition to antibodies, the so-called T-killer cells, are also responsible for detecting viruses in the body ...
- SARS-CoV-2 Under Surveillanceon March 3, 2021 at 8:00 pm
To keep track of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, institutions tasked with viral surveillance need to devote more resources to genome sequencing.
- Liquid-handling robots for wastewater surveillance help predict COVID-19 cases in San Diegoon March 3, 2021 at 10:15 am
In earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic, before diagnostic testing was widely available, it was difficult for public health officials to keep track of the infection's spread, or predict where ...
- Genomic surveillance can help identify how SARS-CoV-2 spreads in care homeson March 3, 2021 at 7:42 am
Care homes are at high risk of experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Older people and those affected by heart disease, respiratory disease and type 2 diabetes - all of ...
- Digital public health surveillance: a systematic scoping reviewon March 3, 2021 at 4:06 am
The ubiquitous and openly accessible information produced by the public on the Internet has sparked an increasing interest in developing digital public health surveillance (DPHS) systems. We conducted ...
- Opinion: What COVID-19 tells us about battling malaria, other infectious diseases in Africaon March 2, 2021 at 7:09 pm
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia, and Jakaya Kikwete, former president of Tanzania, discuss lessons from the pandemic on how African countries should respond to the ongoing threat of ...
- Bird flu threat looms amid weak disease surveillance by govton March 1, 2021 at 5:01 pm
KARACHI: Although Pakistan has not reported any case of bird flu yet despite facing serious threat from regional countries, it is time that the provincial governments, particularly that of Sindh and ...
- PHC-P develops new Pre-Exercise Vector Surveillance programon February 26, 2021 at 1:44 pm
Pacific’s Entomology and Environmental Molecular Biology Laboratory service lines will launch the first ever Pre-Exercise Vector Surveillance program for the Indo-Pacific region. The new initiative is ...
via Bing News