Improvement of mosquito identification by MALDI-TOF MS biotyping using protein signatures from two body parts


Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry technology (MALDI-TOF MS) is an innovative tool that has been shown to be effective for the identification of numerous arthropod groups including mosquitoes. A critical step in the implementation of MALDI-TOF MS identification is the creation of spectra databases (DB) for the species of interest. Mosquito legs were the body part most frequently used to create identification DB. However, legs are one of the most fragile mosquito compartments, which can put identification at risk. Here, we assessed whether mosquito thoraxes could also be used as a relevant body part for mosquito species identification using a MALDI-TOF MS biotyping strategy; we propose a double DB query strategy to reinforce identification success. Thoraxes and legs from 91 mosquito specimens belonging to seven mosquito species collected in six localities from Guadeloupe, and two laboratory strains, Aedes aegypti BORA and Aedes albopictus Marseille, were dissected and analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS. Molecular identification using cox1 gene sequencing was also conducted on representative specimens to confirm their identification. MS profiles obtained with both thoraxes and legs were highly compartment-specific, species-specific and species-reproducible, allowing high identification scores (log-score values, LSVs) when queried against the in-house MS reference spectra DB (thorax LSVs range 2.260–2.783, leg LSVs range 2.132–2.753). Both thoraxes and legs could be used for a double DB query in order to reinforce the success and accuracy of MALDI-TOF MS identification.

In Parasites and Vectors.