Arthropod Studies with Rabies-Related Mokola Virus

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  • Yale Arbovirus Research Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College Street, P.O. Box 3333, New Haven, Connecticut 06510
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A cell culture-adapted variant of the rabies-related Mokola virus was demonstrated to replicate in inoculated Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Replication was slow compared to many arboviruses in their vectors. Maximum titers were not obtained until after approximately 6 weeks of extrinsic incubation. Mokola virus underwent nine mosquito-mosquito passages at approximately monthly intervals and was thus maintained in insects for 340 days before terminating the study. Virus antigen was detected by immunofluorescence in a variety of mosquito tissues and organs, including salivary glands, but primarily in nervous tissue. Irrefutable virus transmission by bite could not be demonstrated because of equivocal results. Transovarial passage of virus was observed in the mosquito. Viremia in baby mice was demonstrable. Ornithodoros moubata nymphal ticks were exposed to viremic mice but failed to become infected.

Author Notes

Present address: 20 Cooper Avenue, Wallingford, Connecticut 06492.

Present address: Department of Microbiology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523.

Present address: Valley Children's Hospital, 3151 North Millbrook Avenue, Fresno, California 93703.

Present address: Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801.