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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946


VASCONCELOS, Pedro Fernando da Costa et al. Epidemiology of encephalitis by arboviruses in the Amazon region of Brazil . Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 1991, vol.33, n.6, pp.465-476. ISSN 1678-9946.

An overview of ecological, epidemiological and clinical findings of potential arthropod-borne encephalitis viruses circulating in the Amazon Region of Brazil are discussed. These viruses are the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE), St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE), Mucambo (MUC) and Pixuna (PIX). These last two are subtypes (HI and IV) of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus. The areas of study were the highways and projects of development, as well as places where outbreaks of human diseases caused by arboviruses had been detected. These viruses are widespread in all Amazonia, and at least four of them, EEE, WEE, SLE and MUC are pathogenic to man. EEE and WEE infections were detected by serology, while SLE and MUC by either serology and virus isolation. The PIX virus has the lowest prevalence and, it was isolated in only a few cases, one being from a laboratory infection. Wild birds are the main hosts for all these viruses, except MUC, whose major hosts are rodents. The symptoms presented by infected people were generally a mild febrile illness. Although, jaundice was observed in two individuals from whom SLE was isolated. A comparison of the clinical symptoms presented by the patients in the Amazon Region and other areas of America, especially in the USA is made. In Brazilian Amazon region epidemics have not been detected although, at least, one EEE epizootic was recorded in Bragança, Para State, in 1960. At that time, of 500 horses that were examined 61% were positive to EEE by HI and of mem 8.2% died On the other hand. SLE has caused four epizootics in a forest near Belem. Wild birds and sentinel monkeys were infected, but no human cases were reported.

Keywords : Encefalites; Arbovírus; Epidemiologia; Amazônia; Brasil.

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