Serologic evidence of widespread everglades virus activity in dogs, Florida

Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Dec;12(12):1873-9. doi: 10.3201/eid1212.060446.


Everglades virus (EVEV), an alphavirus in the Venezuelan equine encephalitis complex, circulates among rodents and vector mosquitoes in Florida and occasionally infects humans. It causes febrile disease, sometimes accompanied by neurologic manifestations. Although previous surveys showed high seroprevalence in humans, EVEV infections may be underdiagnosed because the disease is not severe enough to warrant a clinic visit or the undifferentiated presentations complicate diagnosis. Documented EVEV activity, as recent as 1993, was limited to south Florida. Using dogs as sentinels, a serosurvey was conducted to evaluate whether EVEV circulated recently in Florida and whether EVEV's spatial distribution parallels that of the mosquito vector, Culex cedecei. Four percent of dog sera contained neutralizing EVEV antibodies, and many seropositive animals lived farther north than both recorded EVEV activity and the principal vector. These results indicate that EVEV is widespread in Florida and may be an important, unrecognized cause of human illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alphavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Alphavirus Infections / veterinary*
  • Alphavirus Infections / virology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Culex / virology
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Dog Diseases / virology*
  • Dogs
  • Encephalitis Virus, Venezuelan Equine / isolation & purification*
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Insect Vectors / virology
  • Neutralization Tests / veterinary
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Antibodies, Viral