Detection of Plasmodium falciparum in laboratory-reared and naturally infected wild mosquitoes using near-infrared spectroscopy
Da DF., McCabe R., Somé BM., Esperança PM., Sala KA., Blight J., Blagborough AM., Dowell F., Yerbanga SR., Lefèvre T., Mouline K., Dabiré RK., Churcher TS.
AbstractThere is an urgent need for high throughput, affordable methods of detecting pathogens inside insect vectors to facilitate surveillance. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has shown promise to detect arbovirus and malaria in the laboratory but has not been evaluated in field conditions. Here we investigate the ability of NIRS to identify Plasmodium falciparum in Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes. NIRS models trained on laboratory-reared mosquitoes infected with wild malaria parasites can detect the parasite in comparable mosquitoes with moderate accuracy though fails to detect oocysts or sporozoites in naturally infected field caught mosquitoes. Models trained on field mosquitoes were unable to predict the infection status of other field mosquitoes. Restricting analyses to mosquitoes of uninfectious and highly-infectious status did improve predictions suggesting sensitivity and specificity may be better in mosquitoes with higher numbers of parasites. Detection of infection appears restricted to homogenous groups of mosquitoes diminishing NIRS utility for detecting malaria within mosquitoes.