Vesicular Stomatitis Virus, New Jersey Serotype: Replication in and Transmission by Lutzomyia shannoni (Diptera: Psychodidae)

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  • College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Yale Arbovirus Research Unit, Yale University School of Medicine, Athens, Georgia
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Laboratory-reared female sand flies (Lutzomyia shannoni) were experimentally infected, orally and by intrathoracic inoculation, with the New Jersey serotype of vesicular stomatitis (VSNJ) virus. Virus replication occurred in the insects following infection by both routes. Virus titers >104 plaque forming units of VSNJ virus were present in heads of orally infected sand flies 12 days after virus ingestion, confirming that a persistent disseminated infection had occurred. Both orally and parenterally infected Lu. shannoni transmitted VSNJ virus by bite to susceptible rodents and by transovarial transmission to a small percentage of their F1 progeny. The significance of these findings in the epizootiology of VSNJ virus on Ossabaw Island, Georgia, an enzootic focus of this virus, is discussed.