Isolation of Jamestown Canyon Virus from Boreal Aedes Mosquitoes from the Sierra Nevada of California

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  • University of California, University of California, Berkeley, California

More than 28,000 mosquitoes in four genera were collected from high elevation (≥1,000 m) areas of California during 1988–89 and tested for virus by plaque assay in Vero cells. Viruses were serogrouped by enzyme immunoassay and serotyped by cross-neutralization. Six strains of Jamestown Canyon virus in the California serogroup were isolated from three species of boreal Aedes in the Aedes communis group of the subgenus Ochlerotatus. All isolates were from mosquitoes collected in Alpine County at approximately 2,300 m elevation in the Sierra Nevada. These included one virus from a pool of male Aedes cataphylla collected in immature stages, which is evidence for vertical transmission; four viruses from adult female Ae. communis (sens. lat.); and one virus from adult female Aedes hexodontus. These are the first isolations of viruses from boreal Aedes mosquitoes in California and the first reported isolations of Jamestown Canyon virus from Ae. cataphylla or Ae. hexodontus.