Comparison of the efficiency and cost of west nile virus surveillance methods in California

Jessica M. Healy, William Reisen, Vicki L. Kramer, Marc Fischer, Nicole P. Lindsey, Roger S. Nasci, Paula A. Macedo, Gregory White, Richard Takahashi, La Khang, Chris Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Surveillance systems for West Nile virus (WNV) combine several methods to determine the location and timing of viral amplification. The value of each surveillance method must be measured against its efficiency and costs to optimize integrated vector management and suppress WNV transmission to the human population. Here we extend previous comparisons of WNV surveillance methods by equitably comparing the most common methods after standardization on the basis of spatial sampling density and costs, and by estimating optimal levels of sampling effort for mosquito traps and sentinel chicken flocks. In general, testing for evidence of viral RNA in mosquitoes and public-reported dead birds resulted in detection of WNV approximately 2-5 weeks earlier than serological monitoring of sentinel chickens at equal spatial sampling density. For a fixed cost, testing of dead birds reported by the public was found to be the most cost effective of the methods, yielding the highest number of positive results per 1000. Increased spatial density of mosquito trapping was associated with more precise estimates of WNV infection prevalence in mosquitoes. Our findings also suggested that the most common chicken flock size of 10 birds could be reduced to six to seven without substantial reductions in timeliness or sensitivity. We conclude that a surveillance system that uses the testing of dead birds reported by the public complemented by strategically timed mosquito and chicken sampling as agency resources allow would detect viral activity efficiently in terms of effort and costs, so long as susceptible bird species that experience a high mortality rate from infection with WNV, such as corvids, are present in the area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Birds
  • California
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Surveillance methods
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

Cite this

Healy, J. M., Reisen, W., Kramer, V. L., Fischer, M., Lindsey, N. P., Nasci, R. S., Macedo, P. A., White, G., Takahashi, R., Khang, L., & Barker, C. (2015). Comparison of the efficiency and cost of west nile virus surveillance methods in California. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 15(2), 147-155. https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2014.1689