Powassan and Silverwater viruses: ecology of two Ontario arboviruses

Can Med Assoc J. 1963 Jan 26;88(4):182-5.


Powassan virus was isolated from a pool of Ixodes marxi ticks collected during late August 1962, from a red squirrel, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, and from blood obtained from a red squirrel during early October 1962 near Powassan, Ontario, where a child contracted fatal encephalitis due to this virus in September 1958. The frequent detection of Powassan virus neutralizing antibody in sera of squirrels captured during autumn, but rarely at other seasons, and the frequent I. marxi infestation of squirrels, some of which contain antibody, but the lack of occurrence of I. marxi on other forest rodents, suggest that I. marxi ticks are vectors and squirrels are reservoirs of Powassan virus infection. Isolation of Silverwater virus from Haemaphysalis leporis-palustris ticks which infested a snowshoe hare Lepus americanus near Powassan demonstrates the presence of this agent in the Powassan area also.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies*
  • Arboviruses*
  • Bunyaviridae*
  • Ecology*
  • Encephalitis Viruses*
  • Encephalitis Viruses, Tick-Borne*
  • Insect Vectors*
  • Ontario
  • Rodentia*
  • Sciuridae*
  • Ticks*


  • Antibodies