Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) Virus
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Venezuelan equine encephalitis is caused by a virus in the family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus (Fig. 1 and 2). It is an enveloped virus with an icosahedral capsid 60 to 70 nm in diameter with a linear, single-stranded positive-sense RNA nonsegmented genome of approximately 11.4 kilobases (1). These images are electron micrographs of virus growing in Aedes albopictus C6/36 cells 8 days postinfection and negatively stained with 2% phosphotungstate from an outbreak in Gualaca, Panama, in 1971. Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses occur in South and Central America and in the Florida Everglades of the United States (2). Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus exists in two settings: (i) a continuous cycle maintained between Culex mosquito vectors and rodents (enzootic) and (ii) epidemics that involve several mosquito species that feed on mammals (epizootic).
Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) Infection in Horses
1. Griffin, D. E. 2001. Alphaviruses. p. 917–962. In D. M. Knipe and P. M. Howley (ed.), Fields virology. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pa.
2. Roberts, W. A., and G. A. Carter. 1976. Essentials of veterinary virology, p. 107. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, Mich.