We evaluated the effect of triethylamine (TEA) on the recovery of infectious virus from pools of mosquitoes for two South American alphaviruses (eastern equine encephalomyelitis and Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis subtypes IIIC and ID), one flavivirus (Ilheus) and two bunyaviruses (Mirim [Guama group] and Itaqui [group C]). Mosquitoes were inoculated intrathoracically with virus, held for 7–10 d at 26°C, and handled under one of four regimens before testing for the presence of virus by plaque assay. Mosquitoes were killed by freezing at −70°C for 3 min and tested immediately for the presence of virus; killed by freezing at −70°C for 3 min and then held at room temperature for 1 h before testing for the presence of virus; anesthetized with TEA and assayed immediately for the presence of virus; or anesthetized with TEA and then held at room temperature for 1 h before being assayed for the presence of virus. For each of the viruses tested, viral titers in mosquitoes anesthetized with TEA were similar to those in mosquitoes killed by freezing at −70°C. Likewise, there was no significant difference in viral titers in mosquitoes anesthetized with TEA and held at room temperature for 1 h or in mosquitoes frozen at −70°C and held at room temperature for 1 h before being processed for virus by isolation. Triethylamine is advantageous for the handling of mosquitoes in a field environment. The elimination of the need for a cold chain, without compromising virus recovery, increases the feasibility of conducting research projects requiring the isolation of live virus from mosquitoes in remote tropical environments.
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Vol. 39 • No. 5