Saliva-activated transmission (SAT) of Thogoto virus: dynamics of SAT factor activity in the salivary glands of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, Amblyomma variegatum, and Boophilus microplus ticks.
Jones LD., Matthewson M., Nuttall PA.
Thogoto (THO) virus is transmitted from infected to uninfected ticks when co-feeding on uninfected guinea-pigs, even though the guinea-pigs do not develop a detectable viraemia. This form of non-viraemic transmission is potentiated by a factor(s) secreted by the saliva of ticks and hence has been termed saliva-activated transmission (SAT). The synthesis of the SAT factor by the salivary glands of three ixodid tick species was determined by placing uninfected nymphal ticks on guinea-pigs that were subsequently inoculated with a mixture of THO virus and salivary gland extract (SGE) derived from one of the tick species. SAT factor activity was measured by determining the number of nymphs that acquired THO virus. For the three-host ixodid species, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Amblyomma variegatum, maximum enhancement of THO virus transmission was observed when salivary glands were derived from uninfected female ticks that had fed for a period of 6 or 8 days, respectively. In contrast, when salivary glands were derived form uninfected female Boophilus microplus, a one-host ixodid tick species, enhancement of THO virus transmission was observed throughout the tick feeding period. Thus, the natural feeding behaviour of ticks appears to be an important factor in determining the relative importance of these vectors in mediating SAT.