News Release: Research
Jan. 5, 2010
Mosquito Hunters Invent Better Disease Weapon
Emory researchers believe they have come up with the cheapest, most efficient way yet to monitor adult mosquitoes and the deadly diseases they carry, from malaria to dengue fever and West Nile Virus. Emory has filed a provisional patent on the Prokopack mosquito aspirator, but the inventors have provided simple instructions for how to make it in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
"This device has broad potential, not only for getting more accurate counts of mosquito populations, but for better understanding mosquito ecology," says Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec, the invention's namesake. Vazquez-Prokopec is a post-doctoral fellow working with Uriel Kitron, chair and professor of environmental studies.
"There is a great need for effective and affordable mosquito sampling methods. Use of the Prokopack can increase the coverage area, and the quality of the data received, especially for blood-fed mosquitoes. Ultimately, it can help us develop better health intervention strategies."
In both field and lab tests, the Prokopack outperformed the current gold standard for resting mosquito surveillance - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Backpack Aspirator (CDC-BP). In addition to having a longer reach, enabling it to collect more mosquitoes than the CDC-BP, the Prokopack is significantly smaller, lighter, cheaper and easier to build.