Survival of Arboviruses in Trypanosome-Infected Triatomines

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  • Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, Box 2016, Balboa Heights, Canal Zone

The potential of triatomines to maintain arboviruses was demonstrated by the ability of Rhodnius prolixus with experimentally punctured abdomen to harbor Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) virus for at least 4 months and St. Louis encephalitis virus for 1 month. At 30 days after infection VEE virus was found at low titers in Trypanosoma cruzi-infected R. prolixus and at moderate titers in T. rangeli-infected R. neglectus. Transmission of VEE virus by bite of punctured bugs was successful 2 weeks after virus ingestion; attempts at 30 days failed.