In malaria vector control surveillance, data concerning many important indicators can only be collected via laboratory-based molecular tests (i.e., species confirmation of species complexes, molecular mechanisms of resistance, Plasmodium infectivity). At present, transporting mosquitoes to laboratories for testing is a major rate-limiting step that can lead to months-long delays in receiving data, especially if there is no molecular lab in-country.
Recently, transportable RT-PCR machines have been developed for analyzing environmental samples and are being adapted to run mosquito diagnostic assays. This investment can support the development of protocols and field-stable reagents for mosquito assays as well as the testing of their feasibility for use in the field by collaborators in Africa. The overall goal of this project is to develop and evaluate a field-deployable, PCR-based insecticide resistance surveillance system in Cameroon. This insecticide resistance surveillance system will involve field-deployable preparation of mosquito DNA samples and a PCR-based insecticide marker diagnostic assay that can be performed in a cost-effective and user-friendly, portable bCUBE PCR machine linked to automatic data interpretation integrated with a centralized GIS database. The insecticide surveillance system will be designed for autonomous operation by National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) sentinel sites in Cameroon, and the generation of proof-of-principle data that will enhance our understanding of insecticide resistance dynamics in mosquito populations