Identification Of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae): An External Quality Assessment Of Medical Entomology Laboratories In The Medilabsecure Network
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BACKGROUND: Identification of vectors is of prime importance in the field of medical entomology for both operational and research purposes. An external quality assessment of mosquito identification capacities was carried out within the MediLabSecure Network, which is composed of laboratories located in 19 countries close to the European Union around the Mediterranean and Black seas. METHODS: A set of blind samples consisting of 7 or 8 adult mosquitoes and 4 larvae was given to each participant laboratory. In all, 138 adult mosquitoes and 76 larvae of different species were distributed for genus and species identification. RESULTS: All identifications were exclusively morphology based. Overall, 81% of identifications were correct at the genus level, 64% at the species level. The results were highly varied among the 19 participating laboratories. The levels of correct identifications were: 100% (three laboratories), 90-95% (four laboratories), 50-75% (six laboratories) and < 50% (six laboratories). CONCLUSIONS: This evaluation showed the need to maintain efforts in capacity building and quality control in the field of medical entomology and, more specifically, in the morphological identification of the Culicidae.