Arbovirus Testing


To monitor the presence of arboviruses such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEE) in mosquito pools collected throughout the state by the Department of Environmental Management. To perform serological testing on human specimens for WNV and EEE upon request.

What we do

  • Test mosquito pools weekly during mosquito season for the presence of arboviruses by performing cell culture to determine if mosquitos carry arboviruses that may infect humans.
  • Identify any arboviruses that grow in cell culture using techniques such as Indirect Fluorescent Antibody (IFA) testing.
  • Share test results with the RI Health Department Center for Acute Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology as well as with RI Department of Environmental Management to assist them with monitoring the presence and spread of arboviruses within the state.


  • During the 2015 mosquito season, the SHL tested 2,117 pools of mosquitos and identified 5 pools of mosquitoes infected with arboviruses (0.2% positivity).
  • Identified WNV in 4 mosquito pools and Highlands J Virus (HJV) in 1 pool. Although HJV is not considered to be a risk to humans it is considered a predictor of human pathogens in the surveyed mosquito population.
  • Conducted an in-house validation of molecular methods to identify EEE in mosquito pools.
  • Tested 44 human clinical specimens for antibody to WNV.

Program Publications