BACKGROUND: Vector-borne diseases are on the rise on a global scale, which is anticipated to further accelerate because of anthropogenic climate change. Resource-limited regions are especially hard hit by this increment with the currently implemented surveillance programs being inadequate for the observed expansion of potential vector species. Cost-effective methods that can be easily implemented in resource-limited settings, e.g. under field conditions, are thus urgently needed to function as an early warning system for vector-borne disease epidemics. Our aim was to enhance entomological capacity in Nepal, a country with endemicity of numerous vector-borne diseases and with frequent outbreaks of dengue fever.
METHODS: We used a field barcoding pipeline based on DNA nanopore sequencing (Oxford Nanopore Technologies) and verified its use for different mosquito life stages and storage methods. We furthermore hosted an online workshop to facilitate knowledge transfer to Nepalese scientific experts from different disciplines.
RESULTS: The use of the barcoding pipeline could be verified for adult mosquitos and eggs, as well as for homogenized samples, dried specimens, samples that were stored in ethanol and frozen tissue. The transfer of knowledge was successful, as reflected by feedback from the participants and their wish to implement the method.
CONCLUSIONS: Cost effective strategies are urgently needed to assess the likelihood of disease outbreaks. We were able to show that field sequencing provides a solution that is cost-effective, undemanding in its implementation and easy to learn. The knowledge transfer to Nepalese scientific experts from different disciplines provides an opportunity for sustainable implementation of low-cost portable sequencing solutions in Nepal.
- Mosquito Vectors