A microfluidic platform for highly parallel bite by bite profiling of mosquito-borne pathogen transmission

Shailabh Kumar, Felix J.H. Hol, Sujit Pujhari, Clayton Ellington, Haripriya Vaidehi Narayanan, Hongquan Li, Jason L. Rasgon, Manu Prakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Mosquito bites transmit a number of pathogens via salivary droplets deposited during blood-feeding, resulting in potentially fatal diseases. Little is known about the genomic content of these nanodroplets, including the transmission dynamics of live pathogens. Here we introduce Vectorchip, a low-cost, scalable microfluidic platform enabling high-throughput molecular interrogation of individual mosquito bites. We introduce an ultra-thin PDMS membrane which acts as a biting interface to arrays of micro-wells. Freely-behaving mosquitoes deposit saliva droplets by biting into these micro-wells. By modulating membrane thickness, we observe species-dependent differences in mosquito biting capacity, utilizable for selective sample collection. We demonstrate RT-PCR and focus-forming assays on-chip to detect mosquito DNA, Zika virus RNA, as well as quantify infectious Mayaro virus particles transmitted from single mosquito bites. The Vectorchip presents a promising approach for single-bite-resolution laboratory and field characterization of vector-pathogen communities, and could serve as a powerful early warning sentinel for mosquito-borne diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6018
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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