Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Detection and characterization of Alongshan virus in ticks and tick taliva from Lower Saxony, Germany with serological evidence for viral transmission to game and domestic animals

The newly discovered group of Jingmenviruses has been shown to infect a wide range of hosts and has been associated with febrile illness in humans. During a survey for Jingmenviruses in ticks from Lower Saxony, Germany, Alongshan virus (ALSV) was identified in Ixodes spp. ticks. Additional virus screenings revealed the presence of ALSV in the bodies and saliva of ticks collected at several locations in Lower Saxony. Vector competence studies that included Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus validated the replication of ALSV within those tick species. In vitro feeding experiments with ALSV-injected Ixodes ricinus demonstrated effective viral transmission during blood feeding. To evaluate the potential viral transmission during a natural blood meal, sera from wild game and domestic animals were investigated. One serum sample from a red deer was found to be positive for ALSV RNA, while serological screenings in game and domestic animals revealed the presence of ALSV-specific antibodies at different locations in Lower Saxony. Overall, those results demonstrate the broad distribution of ALSV in ticks in Lower Saxony and hypothesize frequent exposure to animals based on serological investigations. Hence, its potential risk to human and animal health requires further investigation.

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