Experimental infection of potential reservoir hosts with venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Mexico

Eleanor R. Deardorff, Naomi L. Forrester, Amelia P. Travassos Da Rosa, Jose G. Estrada-Franco, Roberto Navarro-Lopez, Robert B. Tesh, Scott C. Weaver

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 1993, an outbreak of encephalitis among 125 affected equids in coastal Chiapas, Mexico, resulted in a 50% case-fatality rate. The outbreak was attributed to Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) subtype IE, not previously associated with equine disease and death. To better understand the ecology of this VEEV strain in Chiapas, we experimentally infected 5 species of wild rodents and evaluated their competence as reservoir and amplifying hosts. Rodents from 1 species (Baiomys musculus) showed signs of disease and died by day 8 postinoculation. Rodents from the 4 other species (Liomys salvini, Oligoryzomys fulves-cens, Oryzomys couesi, and Sigmodon hispidus) became viremic but survived and developed neutralizing antibodies, indicating that multiple species may contribute to VEEV maintenance. By infecting numerous rodent species and producing adequate viremia, VEEV may increase its chances of long-term persistence in nature and could increase risk for establishment in disease-endemic areas and amplification outside the disease-endemic range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Deardorff, E. R., Forrester, N. L., Travassos Da Rosa, A. P., Estrada-Franco, J. G., Navarro-Lopez, R., Tesh, R. B., & Weaver, S. C. (2009). Experimental infection of potential reservoir hosts with venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Mexico. Emerging infectious diseases, 15(4), 519-525. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1504.081008