MALDI-TOF MS: Optimization for future uses in entomological surveillance and identification of mosquitoes from New Caledonia

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Abstract

Background: Mosquito vectors cause a significant human public health burden through the transmission of pathogens. Due to the expansion of international travel and trade, the dispersal of these mosquito vectors and the pathogens they carry is on the rise. Entomological surveillance is therefore required which relies on accurate mosquito species identification. This study aimed to optimize the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for mosquito identification. Methods: Aedes aegypti of the Bora-Bora strain and 11 field-sampled mosquito species were used in this study. Analyses were performed to study the impact of the trapping duration on mosquito identification with MALDI-TOF MS. The best preservation methods to use for short, medium and long-term preservation before MALDI-TOF MS analysis were also assessed. In addition, the number of specimens per species required for MALDI-TOF MS database creation was determined. The first MALDI-TOF database of New Caledonian mosquitoes was assembled and the optimal threshold for mosquito species identification according to the sensitivity and specificity of this technique was determined. Results: This study showed that the identification scores decreased as the trapping duration increased. High identification scores were obtained for mosquitoes preserved on silica gel and cotton at room temperature and those frozen at-20 °C, even after two months of preservation. In addition, the results showed that the scores increased according to the number of main spectrum patterns (MSPs) used until they reached a plateau at 5 MSPs for Ae. aegypti. Mosquitoes (n = 67) belonging to 11 species were used to create the MALDI-TOF reference database. During blind test analysis, 96% of mosquitoes tested (n = 224) were correctly identified. Finally, based on MALDI-TOF MS sensitivity and specificity, the threshold value of 1.8 was retained for a secure identification score. Conclusions: MALDI-TOF MS allows accurate species identification with high sensitivity and specificity and is a promising tool in public health for mosquito vector surveillance.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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Rakotonirina, A., Pol, M., Kainiu, M., Barsac, E., Tutagata, J., Kilama, S., … Pocquet, N. (2020). MALDI-TOF MS: Optimization for future uses in entomological surveillance and identification of mosquitoes from New Caledonia. Parasites and Vectors, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04234-8

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