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Old 07-31-2012, 02:50 AM   #1
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Analyzing mosquitoes for West Nile

I recently saw a report on the evening news that said the county will spray to kill mosquitoes in specific areas if they find a mosquito infected with West Nile Virus in that area. The report showed mosquito traps and a technician using a microscope. I would like to know how could one tell if the mosquito is infected by viewing it under a microscope?

 
Old 07-31-2012, 05:03 AM   #2
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Re: Analyzing mosquitoes for West Nile

The evening news uses stock images that often are only vaguely related to the story.

 
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:45 PM   #3
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Re: Analyzing mosquitoes for West Nile

Okay - I donít doubt what you said at all. Still, the question remains so let me state it another way. I have a bunch of mosquitoes that I collected out in the field. I think Iím capable of separating them into different species. How do I tell which ones carry the West Nile Virus?

 
Old 08-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Re: Analyzing mosquitoes for West Nile

You need a DNA analysis kit (PCR). It can't be done by just looking at the mosquitoes, with the naked eye or with a microscope.

Luckily, about 80% of people who get West Nile have no symptoms at all, and less than 1% become seriously ill.

 
Old 08-02-2012, 06:40 PM   #5
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Re: Analyzing mosquitoes for West Nile

I appreciate your reply - that makes a lot of sense. This will probably seem like a silly question but I am new at this... could you recommend one or two DNA analysis kits that would enable me to do this work?

 
Old 08-02-2012, 06:42 PM   #6
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Re: Analyzing mosquitoes for West Nile

The CDC has West Nile test kits, but I'm not sure if they are selling to private citizens. Also, you might need other equipment to make it work, and it's not exactly "plug and play," PCR requires some technical expertise.

 
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