St. Louis Encephalitis Virus in Jamaican Birds

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  • Zoology and Microbiology Departments, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica


Seventeen percent of 238 wild birds and 36 percent of 162 domestic birds at Caymanas, Jamaica, were found to be positive for St. Louis encephalitis virus infection by hemagglutination-inhibition and neutralization tests in 1962. Conversions detected in local and sentinel chickens suggest that between March and August there probably was an increase in the transmission rate of SLE virus. This increased rate coincided with the breeding period of birds in the area. An isolation of St. Louis encephalitis virus, confirmed by the Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratories, was made from a mockingbird nestling in August. The isolate seems to be closely related to Tr 9464 and Ja 7532 viruses, which are both closely related to the Parton strain of SLE virus.