Limited serosurveillance studies suggested that orthopoxviruses (OPXV) are widespread in the US (e.g., Raccoonpox virus, Skunkpox virus, Volepox virus) and Brazil (Vaccinia virus); however, their animal reservoir(s) remain unconfirmed. Mexican mammal diversity includes several species related to those in which evidence for OPXV infections has been found (Oryzomys, Peromyscus, Microtus, and Procyonidae). The presence of these groups of mammals in Mexico and the evidence of their possible involvement in the maintenance of OPXV in nature suggest the same or similar OPXV are circulating in Mexico. We tested 201 sera from 129 procyonids via modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot (WB) to estimate OPXV antibody prevalence in these animals. We detected a prevalence of 16.67% in Nasua narica (white-nosed coati), 35% in Procyon lotor (raccoon), and 30.4% in Bassariscus astutus (ring-tailed cat) when tested by either ELISA or WB. Western blot results presented protein bands consistent with the size of some OPXV immunodominant bands (14, 18, 32, 36, and 62 kDa). These results support the hypothesis that OPXV circulate in at least three genera of Procyonidae in Central and Southeast Mexico.
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Vol. 52 • No. 3