Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Selected species of wild vertebrates and hematophagous arthropods indigenous to Kern County, California, were evaluated as experimental hosts and vectors of Buttonwillow (BUT) virus. Vertebrate hosts were inoculated subcutaneously with approximately 1,000 plaque-forming units (PFU) of virus and arthropods were fed on pledgets soaked with high concentrations of virus in defibrinated blood or on viremic . Two species of leporids, and , were readily infected with BUT virus and developed high level but transient viremias. Some individual squirrels of two species, and , were partially susceptible to infection, whereas two other species of rodents, and , were refractory. Low titers of hemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies to BUT virus were demonstrated in most infected mammals and usually persisted for at least 12 weeks. Five species of wild birds were refractory to experimental infection. BUT virus multiplied in and reached peak titers of 10 PFU per midge within 3 days after feeding on virus. Infection rates of BUT virus in were always low. A transmission cycle from viremic to to susceptible was completed on three occasions. Five species of mosquitoes (, and ) and two species of ticks ( and ) were unable to serve as experimental vectors of BUT virus. High concentrations of blood from viremic contained a dissociable substance that partially inhibited the plaquing of virus on vero cells.


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