Epidemiological Investigation for Arboviruses in Jamaica, West Indies

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  • Ontario Ministry of Health and Department of Pathology, McMaster University, Department of Microbiology, University of the West Indies, Oral Roberts University, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Arbovirus investigation in Jamaica was undertaken between 1960 and 1975. Serological studies showed that antibodies to dengue type virus and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLE) were prevalent throughout the island for several years. In urban communities, the incidence of dengue antibody was higher than for SLE; however, in children under 10 years of age antibody to both viruses was rarely present. In rural areas, SLE was prevalent in adults and children. This virus was isolated from Culex nigripalpus (mosquitoes) and from a nestling Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos, in the same rural area. Dengue type 3 and type 4 were isolated from the sera of patients in an urban area, during two epidemic periods, 1963 and 1968. No other group B arbovirus was encountered on the island. Group A arbovirus was virtually absent prior to the eastern equine encephalomyelitis outbreak of 1962. That virus was isolated from brain tissue of humans and equines. Two strains of Cache Valley virus from mosquitoes, Anopheles grabhami, one strain from Aedes taeniorhynchus, and a strain of Wad Medani virus from a tick, Amblyomma cajenense, were also isolated.

Author Notes

Formerly Reader in Medical Microbiology, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.

Formerly Lecturer in Medical Microbiology, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.

Formerly Professor and Chairman of Department of Medical Microbiology, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.

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