Arbovirus Testing

Mission

To aid in the diagnosis of insect-borne virus (arbovirus) infections, such as by Zika virus, Dengue virus, Chikungunya virus, and West Nile virus (WNV). In addition, to monitor for the presence of mosquito-borne arboviruses WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) in mosquitoes trapped and collected from throughout the state by the Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

RI officials scramble to contain deadly virus

Officials in Rhode Island are working to contain the spread of the mosquito-borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, as cases continue to spike across the US.

What we do

  • Test trapped mosquitoes, pooled by species, during mosquito season (June – October) for the presence of arboviruses WNV and EEE using advanced molecular methods.
  • Share test results with the RIDOH Center for Acute Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology (CAIDE) and DEM to assist them with surveillance for the presence and spread of arboviruses within the state. report
  • Provide clinical diagnostic testing for Zika virus, Dengue virus, and Chikungunya virus using advanced molecular-based test methods.
  • Provide clinical diagnostic testing for Zika virus, Dengue virus, Chikungunya virus, and West Nile Virus (WNV) using serological (antibodies)-based test methods.

Accomplishments

  • Cell culture methods for arboviral detection were replaced by advanced nucleic acid extraction and rRT-PCR molecular amplification methods for the screening of trapped mosquito pools for arboviruses.
  • During the 2019 mosquito season, the Rhode Island State Health Laboratory (RISHL) tested 2501 specimens of trapped mosquitoes (pooled by species) and identified 4 pools infected with WNV and 7 pools infected with EEE. The RISHL also reported 2 deer and 1 horse infected with EEE.

Program Publications

Reports