Satellite Rearing of Aedes Mosquito Eggs: Synchronized Empirical Test of a Novel Mass Rearing Model

K. L. Dobson, K. Blore, J. A. Henke, K. Y. Hung, T. Morgan, T. Posey, S. Sun, O. Sypes, N. P. Tremblay and S. L. Dobson,  J Am Mosq Control Assoc,  39:12-17. 2023.

Mosquito suppression strategies based on “rear and release” of male mosquitoes are attracting renewed interest from governments, municipalities, and private businesses. These include irradiation-based sterile insect technique, Wolbachia-based technologies, and genetic modification. Each of these approaches requires the mass rearing and release of adult male mosquitoes, which typically is accomplished via a rearing facility near the release site. Although some release programs have relied on centralized rearing and shipment of adult males, adult male mosquitoes are relatively fragile, and their fitness can be diminished by temperature fluctuations, humidity, nutritional deficiencies, and other stresses that occur during shipment. Furthermore, expensive, expedited shipment is typically used to maximize the amount of adult lifetime in the field following the release. In contrast, Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus eggs can be desiccated and stored for long periods. They are small, and many millions of eggs can be shipped without specialized environmental conditions and using less expensive means. Here we examine a model in which mosquito eggs are centrally produced and then mailed to satellite rearing facilities. As a control, a replicate set of eggs was reared at the factory of origin. At each of the rearing sites, cloud-based software was used to track and compare rearing at the different locations. The results demonstrate similar rearing outcomes (i.e., egg hatch, immature development, and number of adult males) at each of the different sites for both species. We discuss the outcome in relation to downstream applications and potential future studies.

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