Volume 13, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The presence of St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus in Panama first became known in July 1957, when an agent identified at Gorgas Memorial Laboratory (GML) and confirmed by the New York Laboratories of the Rockefeller Foundation as St. Louis encephalitis virus was isolated from a pool of mosquitoes. These insects were collected in the canopy of the forest in the area of Buena Vista, a few miles east of the Panama Canal, along the Transisthmian Highway.

From July 1957 through July 1959, eight additional isolates of the same virus were made at GML; four of these were from , two from human serum, and one each from spp., spp. and spp. The two isolates from humans were from GML field workers.

Neutralization tests with 195 human sera collected in the area of Paya, Darien in early 1959 revealed that 69 of the sera neutralized one log or more of SLE virus; 27 neutralized 1.5 logs or more; and 16, or 8.4%, neutralized 2 or more logs.


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