Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus: the problem is not over for tropical America.

Abstract

The equine encephalitis viruses, Venezuelan (VEEV), East (EEEV) and West (WEEV), belong to the genus alphavirus, family Togaviridae and still represent a threat for human and animal public health in the Americas. In both, these infections are characterized by high viremia, rash, fever, encephalitis and death. VEEV encephalitis is similar, clinically, to other arboviral diseases, such as dengue, Zika or chikungunya. Most of the alphaviruses are transmitted between vertebrates and mosquitoes. They are able to replicate in a wide number of hosts, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibian and arthropods. The VEEV has enzootic and epizootic transmission cycles. At the enzootic one, enzootic strains (subtype I, serotypes D-F and serotypes II-VI) are continuously circulating between mosquitoes and wild rodents in tropical forests and mangroves of the Americas. The main reseroivrs are wild rodent species of the subfamily Sigmodontinae. However, bats can be also accidental reservoirs of VEEV. In this article, we reviewed the main features, epidemiology, clinical aspects and the current perspectives of the VEEV.