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Arbovirus surveillance is the organised monitoring of levels of virus activity, vector populations, infections in vertebrate hosts, human cases, weather, and other factors to detect or predict changes in the transmission dynamics of arboviruses. A sound surveillance program requires a thorough understanding of the biology, ecology and interactions of the vertebrate and mosquito hosts.

NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring Program

Health Protection NSW administers the NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring Program (ASMMP).

The aim of the ASMMP is to detect key arbovirus activity and monitor vector populations across NSW to inform public health communications. This surveillance provides an early warning of increased arboviral risk.

From spring to autumn of each year, the ASMMP monitors the presence of arboviruses in the environment through the trapping of mosquitoes for virus isolation, species type and abundance and the detection of arbovirus antibodies in sentinel chicken flocks.

For more information on arboviruses, please see vector borne disease fact sheets.

Weekly report

Health Protection NSW provides information on arbovirus detections and mosquito abundance in a weekly report. Other relevant information, including environmental conditions and human arboviral disease notifications are also included. This weekly report can be downloaded from Season 2022-23 weekly reports.

Mosquito monitoring

Mosquito populations are routinely monitored at over 50 inland and coastal locations across NSW. Trapped mosquitoes are tested for alphaviruses including Ross River viruses and Barmah Forest viruses and flaviviruses such as Murray Valley Encephalitis, Japanese Encephalitis and Kunjin viruses. Mosquitoes are also analysed for information such as species type and abundance.

Mosquito trapping is undertaken by Local Health Districts, Councils and participating community members. The Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR), NSW Health Pathology analyses the trapped mosquitoes.

Positive mosquito surveillance results in NSW to May 2022

Location Date collected Date tested JEV Result Risk
Forbes17 January 202227 March 2022PositiveLow*
Forbes24 January 202227 March 2022PositiveLow*
Wagga Wagga10 January 20222 April 2022PositiveLow*

*More recent samples have tested negative for JEV

Sentinel chicken surveillance

Sentinel chicken flocks in inland locations of NSW are bled regularly and tested for the presence of antibodies directed against flaviviruses such as Murray Valley Encephalitis, Japanese Encephalitis and Kunjin viruses. The presence of arbovirus antibodies indicates exposure to the arboviruses.

Analysis of the sentinel chicken surveillance is undertaken by the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR).

Positive chicken surveillance results in NSW to May 2022

Location Date collected Date tested JEV result Risk
Deniliquin
(1 chicken out of a flock of 15)
20 February 202210 April 2022NegativeLow*
28 February 20225 April 2022PositiveLow*
6 March 20225 April 2022PositiveLow*

*More recent samples have tested negative for JEV

Mosquito trapping videos

The following videos provide practical advice for participants of the NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring Program (ASMMP) involved in mosquito trapping.

Encephalitis virus surveillance trap

 

Pacific Biologics mosquito trap

 

Pacific Biologics mosquito trap with a Biogents (BG) regulator

For more information on trap operation, maintenance and CO2 calibration please contact Health Protection NSW's Surveillance and Risk Unit at HSSG-EHBSurveillance@health.nsw.gov.au.

Serosurvey

NSW Health, with support from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), recently conducted a time-limited serological (blood test) survey in 5 regional NSW towns. The purpose of this survey was to inform the public health response to Japanese encephalitis in NSW over the summer period 2022-23. The survey is now closed.

Current as at: Tuesday 1 November 2022
Contact page owner: Environmental Health