Cotton rats and house sparrows as hosts for north and south american strains of eastern equine encephalitis virus

Nicole C. Arrigo, A. Paige Adams, Douglas M. Watts, Patrick C. Newman, Scott C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV; family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus) is an arbovirus that causes severe disease in humans in North America and in equids throughout the Americas. The enzootic transmission cycle of EEEV in North America involves passerine birds and the ornithophilic mosquito vector, Culiseta melanura, in freshwater swamp habitats. However, the ecology of EEEV in South America is not well understood. Culex (Melanoconion) spp. mosquitoes are considered the principal vectors in Central and South America; however, a primary vertebrate host for EEEV in South America has not yet been identified. Therefore, to further assess the reservoir host potential of wild rodents and wild birds, we compared the infection dynamics of North American and South American EEEV in cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Our findings suggested that each species has the potential to serve as amplification hosts for North and South America EEEVs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1380
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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