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Pathology of Western Equine Encephalitis

Dr Sampurna Roy MD




Western equine encephalitis is encountered primarily in the western and central United States and Canada (it is also found, less frequently, in Brazil).

Western equine encephalitis spread primarily by the vector mosquito Culex tarsalis.

Culex tarsalis is a mosquito that is found on the West Coast of the United States and prefers warm, moist environments.

In these locations, cycles of wild bird and mosquito infectivity allow the virus to remain endemic. Thus mosquitoes are the primary vector and birds reservoirs.

Epidemic outbreaks in the horses or pheasant population often precede human epidemics.

Symptoms range from mild flu-like illness to frank encephalitis, coma and death.

The annual incidence of the virus varies greatly because of the presence of endemic and epidemic forms.

The number of cases tends to increase during epidemic years, the worst of which occurred in the western USA and Canadian plains in 1941 and resulted in 300,000 cases of encephalitis in mules and horses and 3336 cases in humans.


Visit related posts: Alphaviruses causing Encephalitis; Eastern equine encephalitis viruses ; Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses.


Further reading:

Evaluation of a Western Equine Encephalitis recombinant E1 protein for protective immunity and diagnostics.

Effects of time after infection, mosquito genotype, and infectious viral dose on the dynamics of Culex tarsalis  vector competence for western equine encephalomyelitis virus.

The Pathogenesis of Alphaviruses

Recombinational history and molecular evolution of western equine encephalomyelitis complex alphaviruses.

Western equine encephalitis virus is a recombinant virus

Western Equine Encephalitis

Reevaluation of the western equine encephalitis antigenic complex of alphaviruses (family Togaviridae) as determined by neutralization tests.

Arbovirus isolations from mosquitoes collected during and after the 1982-1983 epizootic of western equine encephalitis in Argentina.

Western Equine Encephalitis

Characterization of Fort Morgan virus, an alphavirus of the western equine encephalitis virus complex in an unusual ecosystem.

Mosquito Vectors and Inapparent Animal Reservoirs of St. Louis and Western Equine Encephalitis Viruses



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)







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