Development of a Semi-Field System for Contained Field Trials with Aedes aegypti in Southern Mexico

Luca Facchinelli Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis; Istituto Pasteur – Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, University of Rome “Sapienza,” Rome, Italy; Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública (CRISP), Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico; Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

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Laura Valerio Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis; Istituto Pasteur – Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, University of Rome “Sapienza,” Rome, Italy; Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública (CRISP), Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico; Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

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J. Guillermo Bond Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis; Istituto Pasteur – Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, University of Rome “Sapienza,” Rome, Italy; Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública (CRISP), Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico; Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

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Megan R. Wise de Valdez Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis; Istituto Pasteur – Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, University of Rome “Sapienza,” Rome, Italy; Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública (CRISP), Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico; Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

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Laura C. Harrington Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis; Istituto Pasteur – Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, University of Rome “Sapienza,” Rome, Italy; Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública (CRISP), Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico; Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

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Janine M. Ramsey Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis; Istituto Pasteur – Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, University of Rome “Sapienza,” Rome, Italy; Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública (CRISP), Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico; Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

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M. Casas-Martinez Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis; Istituto Pasteur – Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, University of Rome “Sapienza,” Rome, Italy; Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública (CRISP), Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico; Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

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Thomas W. Scott Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis; Istituto Pasteur – Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, University of Rome “Sapienza,” Rome, Italy; Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública (CRISP), Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico; Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

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Development of new genetic approaches to either interfere with the ability of mosquitoes to transmit dengue virus or to reduce vector population density requires progressive evaluation from the laboratory to contained field trials, before open field release. Trials in contained outdoor facilities are an important part of this process because they can be used to evaluate the effectiveness and reliability of modified strains in settings that include natural environmental variations without releasing mosquitoes into the open field. We describe a simple and cost-effective semi-field system designed to study Aedes aegypti carrying a dominant lethal gene (fsRIDL) in semi-field conditions. We provide a protocol for establishing, maintaining, and monitoring stable Ae. aegypti population densities inside field cages.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Luca Facchinelli, Department of Entomology, University of California, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616. E-mail: lfacchinelli@ucdavis.edu

Financial support: This research was supported by funds from the Regents of the University of California from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health through the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative (GC7 #316) and by a Pasteur Institute-Cenci Bolognetti Foundation grant to Laura Valerio.

Disclosure: This research benefited from discussions with working groups in the Research and Policy for Infectious Disease Dynamics (RAPIDD) program of the Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, and the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health.

Authors' addresses: Luca Facchinelli and Laura Valerio, Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, CA, E-mails: lfacchinelli@ucdavis.edu and lvalerio@ucdavis.edu. J. Guillermo Bond, Janine M. Ramsey, and M. Casas-Martinez, Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública (CRISP), Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), Chiapas, Mexico, E-mails: gbond@insp.mx, jramsey@insp.mx, and mcasas@insp.mx. Megan R. Wise de Valdez, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, E-mail: megwise@lamar.colostate.edu. Laura C. Harrington, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, E-mail: lch27@cornell.edu. Thomas W. Scott, Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis CA, and Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, E-mail: twscott@ucdavis.edu.

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