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Experimental studies were conducted to assess the susceptibility of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) to Jamestown Canyon (JC) and/or Keystone (KEY) virus infection. Viremia occurred in 5 of 6 deer inoculated with JC virus; however, all deer developed KEY virus neutralizing antibody. Based on the observation that antibody elicited by primary infection of deer with either KEY or JC virus exhibited partial heterologous neutralization in vitro, cross-challenge experiments were performed in these animals. Keystone virus failed to infect deer 30 days post primary JC virus infection; however, deer became infected when challenged with KEY virus 80 days after the initial JC virus infection as indicated by a substantial increase in antibody titer. Similarly, JC virus failed to produce viremia in immune animals infected with KEY virus 80 days previously, although 2 of the 3 animals challenged had serological evidence of infection. Three field-collected cottontail rabbits with no evidence of KEY antibody were readily susceptible to KEY virus infection and developed viremias of 1–4 days' duration; rabbits with KEY virus antibody did not develop viremia upon KEY virus challenge. Eight antibody-negative field-collected gray squirrels became viremic following injection with KEY virus; however, a comparable group of squirrels did not become viremic when injected with JC virus.
Present address: Department of Virology, U.S. Army Medical Component, AFRIMS, APO San Francisco, California 96346.
Present address: Department of Entomology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331.