Arbovirus Surveillance General Guidelines

General Guidelines

The following guidelines have been prepared for the DSHS Laboratory Arbovirus/Entomology Team to summarize the purposes, priorities, status, and procedures of the vector monitoring system for the Arbovirus Surveillance Program.


  1. Determine encephalitis virus activity in specific geographic areas before human cases so local health professionals can institute control measures. This is accomplished through the use of intensified vector mosquito collection in areas of identified arboviral activity.
  2. Notify local and state mosquito control personnel of arbovirus activity so appropriate and defined measures can be undertaken.
  3. Identify and report potential vector mosquito species to local and state control personnel for use in their control activities.
  4. Define virus foci, species involvement and seasonal activity in various areas, overwintering mechanisms, and the effectiveness of local control programs on species populations.


Increased emphasis on known vector mosquitoes as the most likely source of arboviral isolation.


  1. Routine arboviral isolation studies from mosquitoes collected around the state will be conducted from May through November of each year. The period may be extended in the event of an outbreak of encephalitis.
  2. Projected tissue cell cultures are sufficient to handle proposed activities.
  3. Basic scheduling and uniformity of programs are of continuing importance and are to follow guidelines as presented here.
  4. Limited, special surveillance proposals with prior approval will be considered.
  5. Field training for new program participants should be arranged with other established program participants or their appropriate HSR.
  6. Any proposed changes to standard field activities must be coordinated with the Arbovirus/Entomology Team.


  1. Agencies requesting Mosquito-Borne Encephalitis Surveillance Program information should contact the Arbovirus/Entomology Team at 512-776-7615 or 888-963-7111 ext. 7615.
  2. Arrange scheduling of shipments with the Arbovirus/Entomology Team.
  3. Mosquito specimens should be submitted alive using only the insulated shipping boxes supplied by the Arbovirus/Entomology Team.
  4. Submitting agencies will be notified (under comments on the mosquito report form) if mosquito specimens are received in an unsatisfactory condition for arboviral isolation studies. These specimens will be processed for species identification only.
  5. Amount and type of mosquito specimens to be submitted will be determined through a cooperative effort between the participant and the Arbovirus/Entomology Team.
  6. Identification of mosquitoes will be reported to the participant before arboviral isolation results.
  7. Isolation of potentially pathogenic encephalitis viruses will be reported immediately by telephone to the submitter and the Health Service Region Zoonosis Control Office where the mosquitoes were collected.