With global travel and the efficient flow of goods and commodities, the different reagions of the world also experience an unintended influx of non-native animals and plants. Some may become established, a process which is often facilitated by climate change. Such invasive species may not only pose ecological problems by out-competing native species, but can also pose a significant public health threat, because they are potential vectors of exotic diseases, such as the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Fig. 2).
The public health system with its surveillance networks and its risk assessment needs to adapt to this evolving situation. One aspect is the surveillance of potential vector mosquitoes. Even using the most efficient trap, like the BG-Sentinel from Biogents, this is still time consuming and work intensive: field technicians have to get to the traps, collect the catch, bring it back to the lab, and identify species of interest. Data are typically available only after days, often weeks.
REMOSIS means “Remote Mosquito Situation and Identification System”, and REMOSIS addresses this problem. A joint research and development project that was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme between February 2016 to January 2018 (grant agreement No 691131), REMOSIS devloped the technology to make mosquito surveillance traps smart. The technology automates the detection and counting of mosquitoes and provides reliable information electronically and almost in real time. It thus enables highly focused, efficient vector and disease control activities, reducing operation costs by 80%. This is a disruptive leap in mosquito surveillance.
With the end of the project, the following stage has been reached:
- A fully developed advanced trap station with mosquito counting module and remote management tools. This system (BG-Counter) is commercially available (Fig. 1).
- A further advanced system to additionally distinguish mosquito species of interest. Out of three sensor designs that were developed and evaluated, one, the BG-Eye is now moving on to pre-production (Fig. 3).
- An advanced Wireless Sensor Network (WSN – nodes and gateway) was prototyped by Irideon.
- With a cloud application specific for mosquito surveillance, the devices can be manged, the data they collect can be downloaded and displayed with a maximum delay of 15 minutes.
The research and development was performed by a consortium of three European partners:
Biogents AG (www.biogents.com) was founded in Germany in 2002 as a spin-off from the Department of Zoology and Neurobiology of the University of Regensburg. Biogents aims to transfer the findings of basic research in mosquito behaviour and chemical ecology into environmentally friendly mosquito control applications. The company has considerable experience in the construction, prototyping and production of a variety of mosquito traps. Medical entomologists and similar professionals worldwide use the BG-Sentinel (www.bg-sentinel.com) in mosquito surveillance. Biogents’ mosquito traps apply unique and patented combinations of chemical, physical and visual stimuli to attract mosquitoes. The BG-Sentinel trap is the gold standard trap for Aedes species that transmit diseases like Dengue, Zika or Chikungunya. It is used by scientists and environmental/health protection agencies worldwide, and is also increasingly being used in the surveillance of other mosquito species. Biogents also produces mosquito traps used by consumers to control nuisance mosquitoes (www.mosquitotraps.eu). The Biogents contract R&D unit is active in complementing mosquito control fields (e.g. repellents, space repellents, insecticide-treated textiles and surfaces).
Irideon SL (www.irideon.eu) is a Spanish-German company (headquarters in Spain, delegation and commercial office in Germany), founded by a multidisciplinary team of engineers with experience in industry and academia. Since 2011 this team provides technical consultancy services and solutions to SMEs and research organizations throughout Europe, primarily in the field of information and communications technologies (ICT) and sensor systems. Irideon’s services include feasibility studies, system architecture design, software and electronic hardware development and prototyping. We have created a disruptive, standards-based, open-source framework for the development of fast time-to-market Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, called SENSCAPE. We are continuously developing the SENSCAPE framework and its hardware and software components, as a means to provide rapid, customized Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.
TEIC, the Technological Educational Institute of Crete (www.teicrete.gr) is a higher education and research organization, founded in 1983 by the Hellenic Ministry of Education. The TEI of Crete is a thriving academic community with an expert faculty of 350 members, over 300 administrative and technical staff and approximately 12000 students. TEIC’s Department of Music Technology & Acoustics has an excellent research record in the areas of Bioacoustic Signal Processing, Single Channel Source Separation, Sound Processing, Pattern Recognition, and Acoustic Surveillance Applications. TEIC is one of the most reputed institutions in Bioacoustics, especially applied for the identification of species, and a world leader in the application of sound processing and pattern recognition of insects and have conducted pioneer work in the development of acoustic devices for the identification of insect species in the field.