Representative strains of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) and Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) were compared for their ability to grow in cultures of unstimulated leucocytes and monocytes derived from donkey peripheral blood. Replication of epizootic and vaccine strains of VEEV, but not of enzootic strains was observed in this system. Only a minority of monocytes supported virus replication as detected by immunofluorescence, electron microscopy and infectious center assays. EEEV did not appear to replicate in this cell system although virus attached to and was internalized by monocytes.
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