Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 401854
Title Potential role of ticks as vectors of bluetongue virus
Author(s) Bouwknegt, C.; Rijn, P.A. van; Schipper, J.M.J.; Holzel, D.R.; Boonstra, J.; Nijhof, A.; Rooij, E.M.A. van; Jongejan, F.
Source Experimental and Applied Acarology 52 (2010)2. - ISSN 0168-8162 - p. 183 - 192.
Department(s) CVI Virology
CVI - Division Virology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) northern europe - ixodid ticks - transmission - infection
Abstract When the first outbreak of bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV8) was recorded in North-West Europe in August 2006 and renewed outbreaks occurred in the summer of 2007 and again in 2008, the question was raised how the virus survived the winter. Since most adult Culicoides vector midges are assumed not to survive the northern European winter, and transovarial transmission in Culicoides is not recorded, we examined the potential vector role of ixodid and argasid ticks for bluetongue virus. Four species of ixodid ticks (Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes hexagonus, Dermacentor reticulatus and Rhipicephalus bursa) and one soft tick species, Ornithodoros savignyi, ingested BTV8-containing blood either through capillary feeding or by feeding on artificial membranes. The virus was taken up by the ticks and was found to pass through the gut barrier and spread via the haemolymph into the salivary glands, ovaries and testes, as demonstrated by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (PCR-test). BTV8 was detected in various tissues of ixodid ticks for up to 21 days post feeding and in Ornithodoros ticks for up to 26 days. It was found after moulting in adult Ixodes hexagonus and was also able to pass through the ovaries into the eggs of an Ornithodoros savignyi tick. This study demonstrates that ticks can become infected with bluetongue virus serotype 8. The transstadial passage in hard ticks and transovarial passage in soft ticks suggest that ticks have potential vectorial capacity for bluetongue virus. Further studies are required to investigate transmission from infected ticks to domestic livestock. This route of transmission could provide an additional clue in the unresolved mystery of the epidemiology of Bluetongue in Europe by considering ticks as a potential overwintering mechanism for bluetongue virus.
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