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Serologic evidence of the recent circulation of Saint Louis encephalitis virus and high prevalence of equine encephalitis viruses in horses in the Nhecolândia sub-region in South Pantanal, Central-West Brazil

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Author(s): Alex Pauvolid-Corrêa | Fernando Neto Tavares | Eliane Veiga da Costa | Fernanda Marcicano Burlandy | Michele Murta | Aiesca Oliveira Pellegrin | Márcia Furlan Nogueira | Edson Elias da Silva

Journal: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz.
ISSN 0074-0276

Volume: 105;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 829;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: arbovirus | Pantanal | RT-PCR | neutralization | equines | Brazil

ABSTRACT
As in humans, sub-clinical infection by arboviruses in domestic animals is common; however, its detection only occurs during epizootics and the silent circulation of some arboviruses may remain undetected. The objective of the present paper was to assess the current circulation of arboviruses in the Nhecolândia sub-region of South Pantanal, Brazil. Sera from a total of 135 horses, of which 75 were immunized with bivalent vaccine composed of inactive Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) and Western equine encephalitis virus(WEEV) and 60 were unvaccinated, were submitted to thorough viral isolation, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and neutralization tests for Saint Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), EEEV, WEEV and Mayaro virus (MAYV). No virus was isolated and viral nucleic-acid detection by RT-PCR was also negative. Nevertheless, the prevalence of neutralizing antibodies in horses older than seven months was 43.7% for SLEV in equines regardless of vaccine status, and 36.4% for WEEV and 47.7% for EEEV in unvaccinated horses. There was no evidence of MAYV infections. The serologic evidence of circulation of arboviruses responsible for equine and human encephalitis, without recent official reports of clinical infections in the area, suggests that the Nhecolândia sub-region in South Pantanal is an important area for detection of silent activity of arboviruses in Brazil.

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