Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks as reservoir and vector of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus in China

Li Mei Luo, Li Zhao, Hong Ling Wen, Zhen Tang Zhang, Jian Wei Liu, Li Zhu Fang, Zai Feng Xue, Dong Qiang Ma, Xiao Shuang Zhang, Shu Jun Ding, Xiao Ying Lei, Xue Jie Yu

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115 Scopus citations

Abstract

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, SFTSVinfected ticks could transmit the virus to mice during feeding. Our findings indicate ticks could serve as a vector and reservoir of SFTSV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1770-1776
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Luo, L. M., Zhao, L., Wen, H. L., Zhang, Z. T., Liu, J. W., Fang, L. Z., Xue, Z. F., Ma, D. Q., Zhang, X. S., Ding, S. J., Lei, X. Y., & Yu, X. J. (2015). Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks as reservoir and vector of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus in China. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 21(10), 1770-1776. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2110.150126