Scherer WF, Pancake BA
J Clin Microbiol 1977 Dec 6:578-85
Twenty strains of Venezuelan encephalitis (VE) virus inoculated intravenously in large doses into roosters produced hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies detectable in plasmas within 7 to 10 days. No signs of illness occurred, and there was no evidence of viral growth in tissues since blood concentrations of infectious virus steadily decreased after inoculation. HI antibodies in early plasmas were specific for VE virus and did not cross-react significantly with two other North American alphaviruses, eastern and western encephalitis viruses. VE virus strains could be distinquished by virus-dilution, short-incubation HI, but not by plasma-dilution neutralization tests, by using early rooster antibodies. The distinctions by HI test were similar with some strains to, but different with other strains from, those described by Young and Johnson with the spiny rat antisera used to establish their subtype classifications of VE virus (14, 28). Nevertheless, results of HI tests with rooster antibodies correlated with equine virulence, as did results with spiny rat antibodies, and distinguished the new strains of virus that appeared in Middle America during the VE outbreak of 1969 from preexisting strains.