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Biotic factors contributing to the survival of tick-borne viruses in nature are poorly understood. Using tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and its principal European vector, Ixodes ricinus, we examined the relative roles of salivary gland infection, co-feeding transmission, and moulting in virus survival. Virus titres in the salivary glands increased after blood-feeding in a time- and dose-dependent manner. This was observed in ticks infected by inoculation but not in ticks infected by the natural route of co-feeding. Amplification of infection prevalence occurred via co-feeding. However, when larvae or nymphs subsequently moulted, the infection prevalence dramatically declined although this was not observed when ticks were infected by inoculation. Trans-stadial survival is a hitherto overlooked parameter that may contribute to the low incidence of TBEV infection in field-collected I. ricinus ticks.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ttbdis.2014.07.019

Type

Journal article

Journal

Ticks Tick Borne Dis

Publication Date

10/2014

Volume

5

Pages

962 - 969

Keywords

Co-feeding transmission, Ixodes ricinus, Salivary glands, TBEV, Trans-stadial survival, Animals, Arachnid Vectors, Encephalitis Viruses, Tick-Borne, Encephalitis, Tick-Borne, Female, Incidence, Ixodes, Larva, Male, Nymph, Prevalence, Salivary Glands, Virus Replication