Serologic Survey for Neutralizing Antibodies to Eastern Equine and Western Equine Encephalitis Viruses in Man, Wild Birds and Swine in Southern Mexico during 1961

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  • Departments of Microbiology, Cornell University Medical College, University of Minnesota, Instituto Nacional de Virologia de la Secretaria de Salubridad y Asistencia, Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota, New York, New York
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During 1961, antibodies neutralizing eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus were found in plasmas of man and resident wild birds in southern Mexico at Tlacotalpan, Veracruz on the tropical eastern coast and at Coatetelco, Morelos on the central upland plateau. Antibodies neutralizing western equine encephalitis (WEE) virus were detected in plasmas from man, resident wild birds and swine at Tlacotalpan, but only from migratory birds at Coatetelco. Maximal prevalence rates for these antibodies were 2% in man and 6% in adult birds. No viruses were recovered by inoculation of suckling mice with plasmas from 88 permanently resident and 88 migratory birds at Tlacotalpan; 72 and 61 plasmas were also negative in hamster kidney and chicken embryonic cell cultures respectively. Because most humans were without detectable neutralizing antibody, a major future amplification of EEE or WEE virus activity in these regions could result in encephalitis epidemics.