Good Medical Entomology Laboratories Practices (GMELP) in India: A Concept Note

  • SN Sharma National Centre for Disease Control, Dte. General of Health Services, Government of India, 22-Sham Nath Marg, Delhi, India.
  • Rina Kumawat National Centre for Disease Control, Dte. General of Health Services, Government of India, 22-Sham Nath Marg, Delhi, India.
  • Sujeet Kumar Singh National Centre for Disease Control, Dte. General of Health Services, Government of India, 22-Sham Nath Marg, Delhi, India.
Keywords: GMELP, ACL, BSL, SoP, Pathogen, Vector, GLP, NABL


Vectors of malaria, filaria, dengue, chikungunya, zika, japanese encephalitis, and kala-azar play an important role in the disease transmission in different eco-settings with variable climatic conditions. Ticks, mites, and fleas also pose a threat to new emerging and re-emerging vector-borne diseases, i.e. Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), scrub typhus, and other rickettsioses. Now, the time has come that field oriented entomological work has to shift from open, field based towards closed medical entomological laboratories for undertaking molecular research and pathogen/ virus detection among vector species handling them by minimising human risks. It is imperative to note that there is a strong need for a standard protocol for effective medical entomological laboratory practices while handling the pathogen carrying vector species under laboratory conditions. This may help to prevent the transmission of pathogens/ viruses in case of accidental release of vectors carrying pathogens/ viruses from the entomology laboratories. Such protocols would always help the scientists to minimise risks working in closed conditions. Though, there are guidelines/ procedures available for developing medical entomology laboratory, having facilities for insect rearing, its handling and equipment, however, no specific published protocol or guidelines exist presently in the Indian context. In the present manuscript, the need for a standard protocol for arthropod containment levels (ACLs 1- 4) along with the appropriate bio-safety levels based on the risk potential of pathogen carried by the vector species has been discussed for its application at the ground by the respective health authorities/ institutions.
The presence of Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) and guidelines on Good Medical Entomology Laboratory Practices (GMELP) would help the professionals working in a medical entomology laboratory to minimise risks. There is a need to develop and follow Good Medical Entomology Laboratory Practices (GMELP) for handling the vectors (Arthropods) carrying the pathogens/ viruses at the national/ state/ district level as well as by the research institutes, medical colleges, and universities. The present concept note shall help to provide a guiding principle to develop standard operating procedure (SoP)/ Guidelines for GMELP.

How to cite this article:
Sharma SN, Kumawat R, Singh SK. Good Medical Entomology Laboratories Practices in India: A Concept Note. J Commun Dis. 2022;54(1):150-155.



American Committee of Medical Entomology; American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Arthropod containment guidelines, version 3.2. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 2019 Mar;19(3):152-73. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, & National Institutes of Health [Internet]. Biosafety in microbiological and biomedical laboratories. 5th ed. 2009 [cited 2017 May 31]. Available from:

American Committee of Medical Entomology, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Arthropod containment guidelines. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2003;3(2):61-98.

ICMR Guidelines for Good Clinical Laboratory Practices (GCLP). 2021.

National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL), ICMR. 2019.

World Health Organization. Handbook: Good Laboratory Practices (GLP): quality practices for regulated nonclinical research and development. TDR; 2009.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL 112) - Specific Criteria for Accreditation of Medical Laboratories. Amended 26 Apr 2019.

Schofield CJ, Dujardin JP. Chagas disease vector control in Central America. Parasitol Today. 1997 Apr;13(4):141-4. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

World Health Organization. Communicable Disease Control, Prevention and Eradication, WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (2001) Report of the fifth WHOPES working group meeting. WHO/HG Geneva. 30-31 October 2001. [Google Scholar]

Soper FL, Wilson DB. Anopheles gambiae in Brazil, 1930 to 1940. Rockefeller Foundation; 1943.

Tabachnick WJ. Evolutionary genetics and arthropod borne disease: the yellow fever mosquito. Am Entomol. 1991 Jan;37(1):14-26. [Google Scholar]

Sprenger D, Wuithiranyagool T. The discovery and distribution of Aedes albopictus in Harris County, Texas. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1986 Jun;2(2):217-9. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Hawley WA. The biology of Aedes albopictus. J Am Mosq Control Assoc Suppl. 1988 Dec 1;1:1-39. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Lounibos LP. Invasions by insect vectors of human disease Annu Rev Entomol. 2002 Jan;47(1):233-66.[PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Komar N. West Nile virus: Epidemiology and ecology in North America. Adv Virus Res. 2003;61:185-234.[PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Laboratory safety for arboviruses and certain other viruses of vertebrates. The Subcommittee on Arbovirus Laboratory Safety of the American Committee on Arthropod-Borne Viruses. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1980 Nov;29(6):1359-81. [PubMed]

Hunt GJ, Tabachnick WJ. Handling small arbovirus vectors safely during biosafety level 3 containment: Culicoides variipennis sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) and exotic bluetongue viruses. J Med Entomol. 1996 May;33(3):271-7. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Higgs S, Beaty BJ. Rearing and containment of mosquito vectors. In: Beaty BJ, Marquardt WC, editors. The biology of disease vectors. Niwot: University Press of Colorado; 1996. p. 595-605.

PAHO Guidelines for the structure of Public Health Entomology Laboratories. 2019.

USAID. Laboratory logistics handbook - a guide to designing and managing laboratory logistics systems. Washington, D.C., USAID. 2009.

Benedict, MQ, Tabachnick WJ, Higgs S, Azad AF, Beard CB, Beier JC, Handler AM, James AA, Lord CC, Nasci RS, Olson KE, Richmond JY, Scott TW, Severson DW, Walker ED, Wesson DM. Arthropod containment guidelines. Vector-Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2003;3:57-98. [Google Scholar]

Mourya DT, Yadav PD, Majumdar TD, Chauhan DS, Katoch VM. Establishment of Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) laboratory: Important criteria to consider while designing, constructing, commissioning & operating the facility in Indian setting. Indian J Med Res. 2014 Aug;140(2):171. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]


Most read articles by the same author(s)