Tissue cultures are used to propagate viruses for use in mosquito infection studies and to detect live virus in field-collected specimens. Microscopic evaluation of cytopathic effects is used to visualize virus presence. In this study, both low-passage (LP; n = 35) and high-passage (HP; n = 218) lines of African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells were infected with West Nile virus, and virus growth kinetics were quantitated over different incubation periods (IPs) (2, 6, 10, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h postinfection). Virus titers were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the HP compared with LP line 24, 48, and 96 h postinfection. No differences were observed in plaque morphology between the LP and HP lines. Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus were fed infectious blood meals created using supernatant from the 2 lines and maintained at 28°C for a 12-day IP. Although the virus dose was higher (P < 0.05) in the HP compared with the LP line, there were no significant differences in mosquito infection or dissemination rates at the end of the IP. The significance of these observations for assessing virus presence and pathogenicity is discussed.
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