Volume 75, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


La Crosse virus (LACV) is found primarily in the Midwestern and Appalachian regions of the United States where it is a leading cause of mosquito-borne encephalitis in children. To determine whether the distribution of this virus extends further east into New England, we analyzed a bunyavirus that was isolated from a pool of eastern tree-hole mosquitoes, (= ), collected from Fairfield, Connecticut (CT) in 2005. Nucleotide and encoded amino acid sequences from portions of the S, M, and L segments were more similar to the prototype strain of La Crosse virus than that of closely related snowshoe hare virus. Phylogenetic analysis of sequences from the M segment indicated that the CT isolate represents a distinct lineage of La Crosse virus, diverging earliest from other strains found in southeastern, central, and northeastern United States. Despite low sequence homology with other viral strains, the CT isolate was antigenically similar to the prototype strain of LACV by plaque-reduction neutralization tests with polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. This represents the first isolation of LACV in New England to our knowledge and suggests long-term independent evolution of the CT isolate.


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  • Received : 07 Mar 2006
  • Accepted : 02 May 2006

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