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DURATION OF INFECTIVITY AND RNA OF VENEZUELAN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS, WEST NILE, AND YELLOW FEVER VIRUSES DRIED ON FILTER PAPER AND MAINTAINED AT ROOM TEMPERATURE

HILDA GUZMANDepartment of Pathology and Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; Virus Research Institute, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

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XIAOHUA DINGDepartment of Pathology and Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; Virus Research Institute, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

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SHU-YUAN XIAODepartment of Pathology and Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; Virus Research Institute, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

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ROBERT B. TESHDepartment of Pathology and Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; Virus Research Institute, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

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Samples of laboratory propagated Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE), West Nile (WN), and yellow fever (YF) viruses were blotted onto filter paper discs, air-dried, and stored at room temperature. At regular intervals over a 90-day period, the dried virus samples were eluted, tested for infectivity by culture and titration in Vero cells, and examined for viral RNA by a reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction. The VEE, WN, and YF viral RNA was detected throughout the 90-day period in all samples examined. Infectious VEE virus could be recovered for up to 40 days; WN and YF viruses were cultured in Vero cells for up to 60 and 90 days, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate that viral nucleic acids and infectious virus can be recovered from arbovirus samples air-dried on filter paper and stored at room temperature for a month or more after collection. This procedure offers a simple and inexpensive method for collecting arbovirus field specimens and transporting them to diagnostic laboratories.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Robert B. Tesh, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-0609, Telephone: 409-747-2429, Fax: 409-747-2429, E-mail: rtesh@utmb.edu.
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