Volume 97, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Infectious disease surveillance is hindered by several factors, including limited infrastructure and geographic isolation of many resource-poor regions. In addition, the complexities of sample acquisition, processing, and analysis, even in developed regions, can be rate limiting. Therefore, new strategies to survey human populations for emerging pathogens are necessary. Xenosurveillance is a method that utilizes mosquitoes as sampling devices to search for genetic signatures of pathogens in vertebrates. Previously we demonstrated that xenosurveillance can detect viral RNA in both laboratory and field settings. However, its ability to detect bacteria and parasites remains to be assessed. Accordingly, we fed mosquitoes blood that contained and . In addition, we determined whether two additional emerging viruses, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus and Zika virus could be detected by this method. Pathogen-specific real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to evaluate the sensitivity of xenosurveillance across multiple pathogen taxa and over time. We detected RNA from all pathogens at clinically relevant concentrations from mosquitoes processed up to 1 day postbloodfeeding. These results demonstrate that xenosurveillance may be used as a tool to expand surveillance for viral, parasitic, and bacterial pathogens in resource-limited areas.


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  • Received : 25 Jan 2017
  • Accepted : 28 Mar 2017
  • Published online : 30 May 2017

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