Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR)

Agency/Department

FLC Region

Security Lab

Yes

Address

503 Robert Grant Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910-7500
United States

Laboratory Representative

(P)

301-319-9000

Description

WRAIR's focus on research for the soldiers affects all aspects of its operations because military medical research priorities differ from those of the civilian sector. WRAIR scientists have a unique understanding of military operations and environments, including the stresses and exposures troops encounter and the performance requirements of a deployed military force. Despite WRAIR's focus on the military, its research has been used to solve non-military medical problems around the world. Its history is filled with the life-saving or life-enhancing discoveries of distinguished scientists.

Mission

Conduct biomedical research that is responsive to Department of Defense and U.S. Army requirements and delivers life saving products including knowledge, technology, and medical materiel that sustain the combat effectiveness of the warfighter.

Tech Areas

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Facilities
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Center for Infectious Disease Research
Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience Research
Leishmania Diagnostics Laboratory
Veterinary Services Program
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Publications
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Walter Reed Fact Sheet

Phone: 
301-319-9000
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Success Stories
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DOD Lethal Mosquito Breeding Container 

The World Health Organization considers dengue the most important mosquito-borne viral disease, with approximately 20 million cases a year and 100 countries affected. Dengue is a danger to not only those who live in tropical and subtropical climates, but also deployed U.S. military troops. A vaccine is not currently available, and mosquito control is a critical element of dengue disease prevention. There are reports that conventional ground and aerial applications of insecticides are not providing adequate control of the mosquitoes that transmit dengue. Dengue is primarily transmitted by the Aedes species of mosquito, which is a container breeder; the female Aedes mosquito will only lay eggs in a container holding water.

U.S. military research scientists Dr. Michael Perich of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and Brian Zeichner of the U.S. Army Public Health Command -Provisional (USAPHC) believed that they could use the “female mosquito’s irrepressible urge to oviposit” to develop a trap that had advantages over conventional methods of controlling the population of container-breeding mosquitoes.

The result was the lethal mosquito ovitrap, which consists of a pint-sized container filled with water, with a strip treated with a small amount of pesticide material. By killing adult female container-breeding mosquitoes and their mosquito larvae, the population of biting mosquitoes is substantially lowered, thus reducing both the potential for disease transmission and the breeding stock for the next generation.

Protected by several patents, the technology was field tested at WRAIR, with results of up to 100% adult mosquito mortality. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between USAPHC and SpringStar, Inc., Zeichner worked with the small American company to design a commercial version of the lethal ovitrap that would be fit for mass production.

With a dengue outbreak in Florida in 2010, the state issued an emergency use permit; and SpringStar and Zeichner traveled to Key West to distribute lethal ovitraps to area residents. They worked in conjunction with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, Armed Forces Pest Management Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Key West Naval Air Station.