Arbovirus Isolations from Mosquitoes Collected during and after the 1982–1983 Epizootic of Western Equine Encephalitis in Argentina

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  • * Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, P.O. Box 2087, Fort Collins, Colorado 80522
  • | ** Institute of Virology, Faculty of Medical Science, University of Cordoba, Estafeta 32, Cordoba, Argentina

Mosquitoes were collected in Santa Fe and Rio Negro provinces, Argentina, in 1982–1983 during a western equine encephalitis (WEE) epizootic. Totals of 153,084 mosquitoes from Santa Fe Province and 484 from Rio Negro Province were tested for virus in 2,351 pools. Seventeen virus strains were isolated, all from Santa Fe collections, as follows: 4 WEE, 6 Venezuelan equine encephalitis, 1 St. Louis encephalitis, 2 Antequera, 1 Maguari, 1 Melao, 1 new vesiculovirus (Calchaqui), and 1 Gamboa. The WEE virus isolates were from Aedes albifasciatus, Anopheles albitarsis, Mansonia species, and Psorophora pallescens. Collections during the spring and summer (1983–1984) following the epizootic yielded 49,707 mosquitoes from Santa Fe, 15,961 from Rio Negro, and 2,019 from Chubut provinces. Twenty-two virus strains were isolated, all from Santa Fe mosquitoes, as follows: 3 strains of SLE virus and 19 strains of Turlock (TUR) virus. All but one of the TUR virus isolates appear to have come from mosquitoes that engorged on a viremic chicken following entry into a bait trap. The vector relationships of each virus isolated during and after the WEE epizootic are discussed.