Public health officials could soon be able to detect viruses in mosquitoes in the wild much more quickly and easily—thanks to the insect equivalent of a urine test. A new study in Australia shows that two kinds of commonly used mosquito traps can be readily modified to collect mosquito excreta, or liquid waste droplets, to be tested for signs of viruses.
An integrated vector management program is no small undertaking, but a program run in Caguas City, Puerto Rico, during the Zika outbreak of 2016 shows such an effort can be successful at the scale of a city of more than 140,000 people.
The mosquito species Toxorhynchites rutilus is harmless to humans but is a voracious predator of other mosquitoes. Researchers in Houston, Texas, are hoping the "mosquito assassin" could be put into action as a tool for controlling mosquitoes that carry human pathogens—if they can find an efficient way to raise the predator mosquitoes in the lab.
The invasive Asian longhorned tick could find plenty of suitable habitat in North America that is similar to its native region, according to new research from the Rutgers University Center for Vector Biology.