Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus

Authored by: Ann M. Powers

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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The alphaviruses are a group of antigenically related arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) that were first isolated in the 1930s. Based upon the results of hemagglutination–inhibition (HI) tests, the alphaviruses were originally designated as group A viruses, thus distinguishing them from other arboviruses such as flaviviruses and bunyaviruses. 1,2 Additional serological and subsequent molecular testing further separated these viruses and led to the serological antigenic complexes still recognized within the Alphavirus genus. 3,4 Alphaviruses can be divided serologically into 10 antigenic complexes. Three of these serocomplexes of bioterrorism importance are represented by eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), western equine encephalitis (WEE), and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) viruses. In both humans and equines, these viruses cause the most severe manifestation associated with alphaviruses infection (encephalitis) and are of significant concern during either a natural or intentional release outbreak.

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