The term “Arbovirus” has no taxonomic significance, but is a shortened name given to viruses that are transmitted by blood feeding arthropods (mosquitoes, ticks, etc.) Arboviruses can cause human encephalititis and are typically members of three virus families: Togavirdae (Alphavirus), Flavivirdae, and Bunyavirdae.
The Serology lab performs IgM testing on human serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for West Nile Virus (WNV), St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE), and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Testing for these viruses are part of the Arbovirus Endemic Panel. Lacrosse (LAC) IgM testing is available based on patient’s travel history.
Dengue Fever IgM (DENV), Chikungunya IgM (CHIKV), and Zika IgM (ZIKV) serological testing is also available for patients with pertinent travel history and epidemiological evidence. Testing for these viruses may be included in the Arbovirus Travel-Associated Panel.
Patients with travel history supporting suspicion of other arbovirus can be submitted to the State of MD Department of Health Laboratory for shipment to the CDC for testing.
All human arbovirus test requests MUST indicate the specimen collection date, patient’s onset of symptoms, yellow fever vaccination history, and patient’s travel history.