A novel mode of arbovirus transmission involving a nonviremic host

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Science  14 Aug 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4816, pp. 775-777
DOI: 10.1126/science.3616608


In nature, infected and uninfected arthropod vectors often feed together on an animal. In mimicking this scenario in the laboratory, uninfected vectors were found to acquire virus while cofeeding on the same host as infected vectors. However, the vertebrate host on which they fed did not develop detectable levels of virus in its blood. These observations were made with Thogoto virus, an influenza-like virus of medical and veterinary significance. Rhipicephalus appendiculatus ticks were used as the vector and guinea pigs as the vertebrate host. The results demonstrate that a vertebrate that is apparently refractory to infection by an arthropod-borne virus can still play an important role in the epidemiology of the virus, and they suggest a novel mode of arthropod-borne virus transmission.