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Reassortment is an important factor in the evolution of segmented genome viruses. For arthropod-borne viruses it is important to determine whether the vertebrate host acts as a site of reassortant virus formation since vertebrates often act as amplifying hosts. Mutants of Thogoto virus, a tick-borne orthomyxo-like virus, were shown to produce wild-type progeny in a dually infected permissive host (hamster), when hamsters were infected with two mutant viruses either by direct inoculation or by oral transmission from infected ticks. Viral dose and time of co-infection of the host affected the incidence of reassortment. This is the first report of reassortment of an arbovirus following infection of a vertebrate host via an arthropod vector.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gen Virol

Publication Date



68 ( Pt 5)


1299 - 1306


Animals, Arboviruses, Cricetinae, Mesocricetus, Recombination, Genetic, Temperature, Ticks, Time Factors, Virus Replication