Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis Viruses

Authored by: Norma P. Tavakoli , Laura D. Kramer

Molecular Detection of Animal Viral Pathogens

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498700368
eBook ISBN: 9781498700375
Adobe ISBN:


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The family Togaviridae is comprised of four genera: Alphavirus (26 species), Rubivirus (1 species), Pestivirus (3 species), and Arterivirus (1 species) [1,2]. The alphaviruses include at least seven antigenic complexes, two of which will be reviewed in this chapter: Western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) and Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), and five others— the Middelburg virus, Ndumu virus, Semliki Forest virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), and Barmah Forest virus [3]. EEEV is the sole species in the EEEV anti-genic complex. North and South American antigenic varieties can be distinguished serologically [4], geographically, epide-miologically, ecologically, genetically, and by level of pathoge-nicity. In view of clear biologic and genetic differences, South American EEEV was recently reclassified as a separate species named Madariaga virus (MADV) [5]. North American EEEV (Lineage I) is found mainly in the Eastern United States, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands [6], and the isolates form a highly conserved lineage. In addition to MADV, there are old reports of EEEV isolations made in the Philippines, Thailand, the Asiatic region of Russia, and the former Czechoslovakia [7].

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