Transmission of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus from Infected to Noninfected Black Flies Co-Feeding on Nonviremic Deer Mice

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Science  21 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5452, pp. 485-487
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5452.485

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Vesicular stomatitis is an economically important arboviral disease of livestock. Viremia is absent in infected mammalian hosts, and the mechanism by which insects become infected with the causative agents, vesicular stomatitis viruses, remains unknown. Because infected and noninfected insects potentially feed on the same host in nature, infected and noninfected black flies were allowed to feed on the same host. Viremia was not detected in the host after infection by a black fly bite, but because noninfected black flies acquired the virus while co-feeding on the same host with infected black flies, it is concluded that a viremic host is not necessary for an insect to be infected with the virus. Thus co-feeding is a mechanism of infection for an insect-transmitted virus.

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