Benton County MCD currently tests for West Nile virus (WNv) and St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) within the District boundaries. Mosquito samples can either be tested in-house or sent to a state accredited laboratory.
Our In-house testing uses the RAMP (Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform) Reader West Nile virus test. The RAMP Reader is a highly accurate device that can provide relatively quick test results on either mosquito samples or throat swabs of dead birds. The system (test cartridge) uses specific antibodies to detect the presence of WNv antigens. Positive samples may be sent off to a state accredited laboratory for confirmation. State confirmation provides a higher degree of accuracy and rules out the possibility of false positives. Though the RAMP system is not 100% accurate, it is the most reliable system available to small programs that do not have full state-lab capabilities. RAMP provides quick results on field collected mosquito samples and serves as an 'early warning system' in our effort to detect WNv before it infects people, pets and/or livestock.