Remote Identification Of Mosquito Species Related To Infectious Diseases Using A Dual-Wavelength Polarization Sensitive Lidar

Project: Research project

Project Details


Project Summary: This project seeks support to develop a new laser-based methodology to monitormosquitoes acting as vectors for infectious diseases. For diseases with no effective cure, such as Dengue andZika fever, vector control remains the most effective way to protect human populations. However, the spatialdistribution of mosquito species is currently tedious to monitor as it relies mostly on unpractical physical traps.Lack of reliable data on the spatial distribution and population dynamics of key mosquito species has become amajor obstacle to the development of predictive spatial models for risk of exposure to key vectors. Theproposed research goal is to develop and test in laboratory a dual-wavelength polarization sensitive lidarsystem to count and identify in real-time the species and gender of flying mosquitoes over large range (> 100m) directly in their natural habitat. Aim 1 is to test the capability of this novel methodology to retrieve opticalproperties and wing beat frequency of flying mosquitoes transiting through the laser beam in a controlledenvironment. Measurements in the near infrared (NIR) and short-wave infrared (SWIR) spectral range will becarried out over a distance of 5 to 10 meters on 4 mosquito species related to infectious diseases. Wehypothesize that the light backscattering coefficients and light depolarization ratios of the insect�s body andwings can be remotely retrieved as well as the wing beat frequency, which is supported by our preliminaryresults. Aim 2 is to define whether the retrieved information can be used as a unique signature to identify themosquito species and sex-group. Wing beat frequency has been demonstrated in previous studies as aneffective mean to identify the insect family and gender for mosquitoes, also confirmed by our preliminaryresults. We hypothesize that individuals from a same species will present relatively similar optical propertieswhen compared to individuals from another species. Body and wing colors, degree of melanization androughness vary from a species to another. Therefore, we expect to observe differences when measuring opticalproperties from different species. Detection limits and sensibility of the laboratory setup will be evaluated inlight of aim 1 and 2 outcomes and compared with our existing numerical model. Upon completion, this project will have validated a new methodology to monitor in real timemosquitoes transmitting infectious diseases with a potential to traNational Science Foundation orm our ability to collect data oninfectious disease vectors. With global warming changing their possible habitat, this methodology allows muchfaster detection of key insect species, identifying thousands of mosquitoes in a few hours compared to weekswith current techniques. The instrument will be used to improve the effectiveness of vector control strategyfrom Public authorities, as well as studying the impact of new and existing mosquito control methodologies(biocontrol, pesticides, trapping). The results of this feasibility study will provide strong preliminary data toguide the design of a larger system for actual field measurements that will be proposed to the R21 program.
Effective start/end date1/17/1812/31/19


  • National Institutes of Health


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