Arbovirus Investigations in Argentina, 1977–1980

III. Identification and Characterization of Viruses Isolated, Including New Subtypes of Western and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Viruses and Four New Bunyaviruses (Las Maloyas, Resistencia, Barranqueras, and Antequera)

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  • 1 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

Forty viruses isolated from mosquitoes between 1977 and 1980 in Argentina have been identified and characterized. Nineteen strains of VEE virus, identical by neutralization (N) tests, were shown by hemagglutination-inhibition tests with anti-E2 glycoprotein sera to represent a new subtype VI of the VEE complex. RNA oligonucleotide fingerprints of this virus were distinct from subtype I viruses. The virus was not lethal for English short-haired guinea pigs, indicating that it is probably not equine-virulent. Three strains of a member of the WEE virus complex were shown to differ by N tests in 1 direction from prototype WEE virus. The new WEE subtype was also found to be distinct by RNA oligonucleotide mapping. Its vector relationships indicate that it is an enzootic virus, and it has not been associated with equine disease. A new member of the Anopheles A serogroup was identified, shown to be most closely related to Lukuni and Col An 57389 viruses, and given the name Las Maloyas virus. A strain of Para virus (Bunyaviridae, Bunyavirus) was identified. Six isolates, representing 3 new viruses morphologically resembling bunyaviruses are described; the names Antequera, Barranqueras, and Resistencia are proposed for these agents, which were all isolated from Culex (Melanoconion) delpontei in Chaco Province. No serologic relationships between these viruses and other bunyaviruses were found. Since they are antigenically interrelated, they form a new (Antequera) serogroup. Eight Gamboa serogroup viruses and 2 strains of St. Louis encephalitis virus were also identified.