Evaluation of Vector-Enabled Xenosurveillance in Rural Guatemala

McMinn RJ, Chacon A, Rückert C, Scorza V, Young MC, Worthington D, Lamb MM, Medrano RE, Harris EK, Arias K, Lopez MR, Asturias EJ, Foy BD, Stenglein MD, Olson D, Ebel GD 2023. Am J Trop Med Hyg.


Surveillance methods that permit rapid detection of circulating pathogens in low-resource settings are desperately needed. In this study, we evaluated a mosquito bloodmeal-based surveillance method (“xenosurveillance”) in rural Guatemala. Twenty households from two villages (Los Encuentros and Chiquirines) in rural southwest Guatemala were enrolled and underwent weekly prospective surveillance from August 2019 to December 2019 (16 weeks). When febrile illness was reported in a household, recently blood-fed mosquitoes were collected from within dwellings and blood samples taken from each member of the household. Mosquitoes were identified to species and blood sources identified by sequencing. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing was used to identify circulating viruses. Culex pipiens (60.9%) and Aedes aegypti (18.6%) were the most abundant mosquitoes collected. Bloodmeal sources were most commonly human (32.6%) and chicken (31.6%), with various other mammal and avian hosts detected. Several mosquito-specific viruses were detected, including Culex orthophasma virus. Human pathogens were not detected. Therefore, xenosurveillance may require more intensive sampling to detect human pathogens in Guatemala and ecologically similar localities in Central America.

*Image credit: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Mosquito Image Library, public domain, source