Non-viraemic transmission of tick-borne encephalitis virus: a mechanism for arbovirus survival in nature
The vectors of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) become infected by feeding on the viraemic blood of an infected animal. This theory is based on transmission studies involving artificial infection of vertebrate hosts by syringe inoculation. To reproduce natural conditions of virus transmission, infected and uninfected vectors (ticks) of tick-borne encephalitis virus, the most important arbovirus in Europe, were allowed to feed together on uninfected wild vertebrate hosts. The greatest numbers of infected ticks were obtained from susceptible host species that had undetectable or very low levels of viraemia. The results suggest that ‘nonviremic transmission’ is an important mechanism for the survival of certain arboviruses in nature.
Key wordsArbovirus transmission tick-borne encephalitis virus
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