Mosquito Surveillance & Disease Monitoring
the months from April to November, we routinely set out light
traps baited with 3lbs. of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) at predetermined locations throughout the county, as well as conducting
daily landing rate counts.Both of these give us valuable information regarding
adult mosquito populations.
One of the more important year
round surveillance projects is the monitoring of our sentinel chicken flocks
for mosquito-borne viruses. We have flocks scattered throughout the county
with the sole purpose of providing us with an early indicator for St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE),
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE),
and West Nile Viruses (WNV).
Every week we visit our
chicken flocks to bleed them for virus analysis. The blood is drawn, spun
down in a centrifuge, and sent to the Florida Department of Health Tampa Branch laboratory. The lab tests the blood
for antibodies to the SLE, EEE, and WNV viruses. If antibodies are present,
then we up the tempo of our surveillance
From this point our main concern is to keep track of where the virus might
be moving by sampling our chickens. Our attention then shifts to
identifying the species of mosquito responsible for carrying the virus.
This is done by collecting and identifying mosquitoes from the infected bird site and sending them to the State Epidemiology Lab
for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)