Sep 25, 2015

Haemaphysalis longicornis Ticks as Reservoir and Vector of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus in China

Emerging Infectious Diseases
Li-Mei LuoXue-Jie Yu


Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging hemorrhagic fever in East Asia caused by SFTS virus (SFTSV), a newly discovered phlebovirus. The Haemaphysalis longicornis tick has been suspected to be the vector of SFTSV. To determine whether SFTSV can be transmitted among ticks, from ticks to animals, and from animals to ticks, we conducted transmission studies between developmental stages of H. longicornis ticks and between ticks and mice. Using reverse transcription PCR, we also analyzed the prevalence of SFTSV infection among H. longicornis ticks collected from vegetation in Shandong Province, China. Our results showed a low prevalence of SFTSV among collected ticks (0.2%, 8/3,300 ticks), and we showed that ticks fed on SFTSV-infected mice could acquire the virus and transstadially and transovarially transmit it to other developmental stages of ticks. Furthermore, SFTSV-infected ticks could transmit the virus to mice during feeding. Our findings indicate ticks could serve as a vector and reservoir of SFTSV.

Mentioned in this Paper

Virus Diseases
Heterostylites longicornis
Infections, Bunyavirus
Suborder Ixodides
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Haloptilus longicornis

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