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December 9, 1944


JAMA. 1944;126(15):962-963. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850500034011

The experimental transmission of the virus of St. Louis encephalitis to chickens and pigeons by nine species of mosquitoes,1 coupled with demonstration of the virus in local Culex tarsalis during epidemic periods,2 suggested to earlier investigators that mosquitoes are the main if not the sole insect vectors of this disease. In a survey for the presence of type specific antibodies in the human and animal populations of the St. Louis area, however, Smith3 and her associates of Washington University School of Medicine observed that few individuals who had come into St. Louis County since 1937 showed specific antibodies, while a large percentage of the local domestic fowls approximately 1 year of age were carriers of neutralizing antibody. This suggested that some blood sucking vector that does not bite man is mainly responsible for the spread of the virus among domestic fowls.

Blattner4 had previously shown that

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