Ticks need not bite their red grouse hosts to infect them with louping ill virus.

Lucy Gilbert, LD Jones, MK Laurenson, EA Gould, HW Reid, PJ Hudson

Research output: Other contribution

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For pathogens transmitted by biting vectors, one of the fundamental assumptions is often that vector bites are the sole or main route of host infection. Here, we demonstrate experimentally a transmission route whereby hosts (red grouse, Lagopus lagopus scoticus) became infected with a member of the tick-borne encephalitis virus complex, louping ill virus, after eating the infected tick vector. Furthermore, we estimated from field observations that this mode of infection could account for 73-98% of all virus infections in wild red grouse in their first season. This has potential implications for the understanding of other biting vector-borne pathogens where hosts may ingest vectors through foraging or grooming.

Original languageEnglish
Volume271
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2004

Keywords

  • louping ill virus
  • ticks
  • red grouse
  • Lagopus lagopus scoticus
  • IXODES-RICINUS
  • BORNE VIRUSES
  • TRANSMISSION
  • DISEASE
  • SHEEP

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