Pacui Virus, Phlebotomine Flies, and Small Mammals in Brazil: an Epidemiological Study

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  • Belem Virus Laboratory, Instituto Evandro Chagas, Belem, Para, Brazil
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Pacui virus, originally obtained from forest rodents, was isolated 100 times from 61,437 specimens (658 pools) of the phlebotomine fly Lutzomyia flaviscutellata, collected from rodent-baited traps in the forests of Belem, Para, Brazil in the period October 1968 through September 1970. Isolations were made from engorged and unengorged females and from males (3 strains), and occurred in all 24 months. Pacui virus also was isolated from the blood of two wild rodents (Oryzomys), but not from 424 L. infraspinosa, 12,000 mosquitoes, or sentinel mice. Pacui virus neutralizing antibodies were detected in serum of six bait animals after exposure to biting flies in the forest, in 30% of wild rodents surveyed (including two from Amapa Territory), and in 10% of marsupials, but were absent in human survey sera and in bats. Low-passage Pacui virus produced viremia in and was lethal to infant mice by the subcutaneous route. L. flaviscutellata was most abundant in the dry season, in which period Pacui virus isolations increased. This fly is strongly attracted to rodents close to the ground. L. flaviscutellata also yielded single strains of Guama, Icoaraci, and BeAr 177325 viruses.

Author Notes

Present address: Yale Arbovirus Research Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.

Present address: State of New York Department of Health, New Scotland Avenue, Albany, New York 12201.