Evidence of Arbovirus Infection in Fiji*

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  • Department of Microbiology, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand, and The Dominion Museum, Wellington, New Zealand


During December 1959 and January 1960 mosquitoes were collected in Fiji for the isolation of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), and sera were collected from men and fowls for arbovirus antibody testing. A total of 3,363 mosquitoes was tested by inoculation into 6-day embryonated hen's eggs, chick cell monolayer tissue cultures and in suckling mice, but no virus strains were isolated.

A small proportion of the fowl sera had hemagglutination inhibiting (HI) antibodies to a group B virus. Of the human sera tested, 40% of 233 had HI antibodies to Japanese encephalitis, 47% of 185 neutralised dengue 1 virus, 25% of 173 neutralised dengue 2 virus and 5% of 85 neutralized M78 virus.

It is considered that the major infecting agent is a virus more closely related to dengue 1 than dengue 2. There is some evidence of infection with a virus closely related to dengue 2 and of infections with a further unidentified group B virus and also a Sindbis-like agent.