From 1987 through 1991, blood samples were collected from 10 species of small mammals in Indian River County, Florida (USA). Sera from 1,347 animals were analyzed for hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibody to St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) viruses. Of these, 75 (5.6%) were positive for HI antibody to SLE virus and 121 (9.0%) were positive for EEE antibody. Sera from five mammalian species were tested for neutralizing (NT) antibody to SLE, EEE, Highlands J (HJ, a member of the western equine encephalitis virus complex), or Everglades (EVE, a member of the Venezuelan equine encephalitis complex) viruses. By serum neutralization tests, 26 (46%) of 57 had SLE antibodies, 14 (24%) of 58 had EEE antibodies, two (3.2%) of 63 had HJ antibodies, and 9 (14%) of 63 had EVE antibodies. One Sigmodon hispidus and one Peromyscus gossypinus had NT antibodies both to EEE and HJ viruses. Blood samples from 512 mammals were tested for virus. Isolations of one EVE virus and two unidentified arenaviruses were made from P. gossypinus, and one EVE virus isolate was made from a S. hispidus.
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Vol. 32 • No. 3