Volume 37, Issue 3_Part_2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Reeves' concept of the summer transmission cycle of western equine encephalomyelitis virus in 1945 was that the virus was amplified in a silent transmission cycle involving mosquitoes, domestic chickens, and possibly wild birds, from which it could be transmitted tangentially to and cause disease in human and equine populations. Extensive field and laboratory studies done since 1945 in the Central Valley of California have more clearly defined the specific invertebrate and vertebrate hosts involved in the basic virus transmission cycle, but the overall concept remains unchanged. The basic transmission cycle involves as the primary vector mosquito species and house finches and house sparrows as the primary amplifying hosts. Secondary amplifying hosts, upon which frequently feeds, include other passerine species, chickens, and possibly pheasants in areas where they are abundant. Another transmission cycle that most likely is initiated from the -wild bird cycle involves and the blacktail jackrabbit. Like humans and horses, California ground squirrels, western tree squirrels, and a few other wild mammal species become infected tangentially with the virus but do not contribute significantly to virus amplification.


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