Rio Grande—a New Phlebotomus Fever Group Virus from South Texas

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  • Vector-Borne Diseases Division, Center for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Fort Collins, Colorado 80522
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Three strains of a new Phlebotomus fever group virus were isolated from pack rats (Neotoma micropus) collected in south Texas during 1973–1974; the name Rio Grande was proposed for this virus. The virus is pH 3.0 labile, sensitive to the action of sodium deoxycholate and heat (56°C) labile. The results of a serosurvey indicated that pack rats are probably the principal vertebrate host for Rio Grande virus and that year-round transmission of the virus may occur. Because no isolations of this virus were made from hematophagous insects, the vector, if any, remains undetermined.