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Properties of the tick-borne encephalitis virus population during persistent infection of ixodid ticks and tick cell lines



Properties of the tick-borne encephalitis virus population during persistent infection of ixodid ticks and tick cell lines



Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases 8(6): 895-906



Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is the causative agent of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), a vector-borne zoonotic neuroinfection. For successful circulation in natural foci the virus has to survive in the vector for a long period of time. Information about the effect of long-term infection of ticks on properties of the viral population is of great importance. In recent years, changes in the eco-epidemiology of TBEV due to changes in distribution of ixodid ticks have been observed. These changes in TBEV-endemic areas could result in a shift of the main tick vector species, which in turn may lead to changes in properties of the virus. In the present study we evaluated the selective pressure on the TBEV population during persistent infection of various species of ticks and tick cell lines. TBEV effectively replicated and formed persistent infection in ticks and tick cell lines of the vector species (Ixodes spp.), potential vectors (Dermacentor spp.) and non-vector ticks (Hyalomma spp.). During TBEV persistence in Ixodes and Dermacentor ticks, properties of the viral population remained virtually unchanged. In contrast, persistent TBEV infection of tick cell lines from both vector and non-vector ticks favoured selection of viral variants with low neuroinvasiveness for laboratory mice and substitutions in the E protein that increased local positive charge of the virion. Thus, selective pressure on viral population may differ in ticks and tick cell lines during persistent infection. Nevertheless, virus variants with properties of the original strain adapted to mouse CNS were not eliminated from the viral population during long-term persistence of TBEV in ticks and tick cell lines.

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Accession: 060143044

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 28784308

DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2017.07.008


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