By the end of the four-year program, DAPRA hopes that researchers can demonstrate "a safe, precise treatment that delivers a 100-fold reduction in mosquito feeding.
In the age-old war against the pesky, disease-carrying mosquito, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is trying a new tactic. Rather than depend on bed nets, repellants or anti-malarial therapeutics to keep warfighters free from mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit, DARPA wants to temporarily modify the skin microbiome -- the ecosystem of microorganism that live on the skin -- to improve resiliency of military personnel to mosquitos.
The ReVector program plans to develop safe and precise technologies that change the metabolic process in the skin to disrupt the way mosquitoes locate and feed on humans. The solution aims to protect warfighters for two weeks per application and last even through regular showers.
“Mosquitoes present one of the most stubborn threats out there to the health of deployed troops. Despite an array of existing countermeasures and prevention efforts, mosquito-transmitted diseases remain prevalent around much of the world,” ReVector Program Manager Christian Sund said. “DARPA wants to apply the tools of biological engineering to create a new protective approach that is optimized for troops in the field. Our end goal is a treatment that is simple to apply, low maintenance, and without undesirable side effects.”
FBO ReVector Solicitation
Solicitation Number: HR001119S0056
Office: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Responses Due: 11 July 2019
Synopsis: The ReVector program aims to develop methods to use human skin microbiomes to modulate chemical signatures in order to avoid mosquito attraction and feeding and reduce the threat of mosquito-borne disease to Warfighters. Human skin associated microbes interact with metabolites from the body and influence the personal chemical signature of each individual, making some individuals more attractive to mosquitoes. This program seeks to develop advanced data analytics and microbiome modulation tools for engineering skin microbiomes and provide new options for the readiness and resiliency of military personnel.
A Scent-Based Strategy for Preventing Mosquito Transmission of Disease
ReVector Proposers Day