Detection of Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis Virus and Higlands J Virus Antigens within Mosquito Pools by Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA)

I. A Laboratory Study

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  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Microbiology and Environmental Health, Colorado State University, Rochester, New York 14642

Enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) producing either chromogenic or fluorogenic end products were developed and evaluated for detection of eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) and Highlands J (HJ) viruses in pools of Aedes triseriatus mosquitoes. Overnight incubation of the mosquito samples in the EIA significantly enhanced the sensitivity of the test. Both the EEE and HJ EIAs were sensitive, readily detecting one infected mosquito in a pool with 99 noninfected, and specific, distinguishing homologous from the alternate alphavirus and other arboviruses. By 3 days post-infection after intrathoracic inoculation, EEE virus was isolated from 100% (30/30) of the mosquitoes examined. Concurrently, EEE virus antigen was detectable by EIA in 100% (30/30) of examined mosquitoes and by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) technique in 77% (23/30) of the examined mosquito head squash preparations.