Mesenteronal Infection Threshold of an Epizootic Strain of Venezuelan Encephalitis Virus in Culex (Melanoconion) Taeniopus Mosquitoes and Its Implication to the Apparent Disappearance of This Virus Strain from an Enzootic Habitat in Guatemala

W. F. Scherer Department of Microbiology, Cornell University Medical College, 1300 York Avenue, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Area of Biological Sciences, University of San Carlos Medical School, New York, New York 10021, Guatemala

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E. W. Cupp Department of Microbiology, Cornell University Medical College, 1300 York Avenue, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Area of Biological Sciences, University of San Carlos Medical School, New York, New York 10021, Guatemala

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G. M. Dziem Department of Microbiology, Cornell University Medical College, 1300 York Avenue, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Area of Biological Sciences, University of San Carlos Medical School, New York, New York 10021, Guatemala

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R. J. Breener Department of Microbiology, Cornell University Medical College, 1300 York Avenue, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Area of Biological Sciences, University of San Carlos Medical School, New York, New York 10021, Guatemala

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J. V. Ordonez Department of Microbiology, Cornell University Medical College, 1300 York Avenue, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Area of Biological Sciences, University of San Carlos Medical School, New York, New York 10021, Guatemala

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Culex (Melanoconion) taeniopus is a vector of Venezuelan encephalitis (VE) virus at a marsh focus in Guatemala and has low mesenteronal thresholds for infection by and transmission of two enzootic strains of VE virus. In contrast, samples of natural populations and subsequent F2 and F4 generations of these mosquitoes have a high mesenteronal threshold for infection by an epizootic VE strain isolated at the same marsh during the end of the 1969 VE epidemic-equine epizootic. The resistance of Cu. (Mel.) taeniopus to mesenteronal infection by this VE strain probably represents a key factor in the apparent disappearance of epizootic VE virus from the marsh focus following the 1969 outbreak.

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