Accessing disease vector colonies

11 Apr 2023


Who we are

Infravec2 is an international and interdisciplinary infrastructure project on insect vectors of human and animal disease, including mosquitoes, sandflies, other flies, and ticks.

What we do

The Infravec2 project provides research resources and access to key infrastructures for insect vector biology at no cost to the end-user.

Networking for vector control

Facilitation of networking and communication within the scientific community and stakeholders dealing with vector and vector-borne disease control to increase synergies and improve capacity for vector control activity.

BEI Resources

The Vector Resource materials within BEI Resources aims to support research to discover new ways to prevent the spread of disease. Vectors—organisms that transmit pathogens to hosts—include mosquitoes, ticks, triatomine bugs, sand flies, black flies, tsetse flies, fleas, mites and certain freshwater snails.  BEI Resources currently supplies mosquitoes, ticks, reduviids, sand flies and snails to researchers. 


With funding from Valent Biosciences,  Elmer Gray, a medical and veterinary entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and a team of 10 UGA students and technicians work every day, year-round to maintain the colony’s 2.7 million black flies. 

The researchers house the fly colony in Athens, Ga., in lobster tanks and modified salt water aquariums, a system developed at Cornell University to replicate a river habitat.

The fly colony is fed soybean meal and rabbit chow. “Our flies are larger than the flies found naturally in streams because they’re fed well,” Gray said.

Flies from the UGA colony are being used by other UGA researchers and in research programs at Kansas State University, University of Alabama, Clemson University and Brock University in Canada.

“We share samples with anyone we can help,” Gray said.