Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35017574
Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41598-021-04498-9
Sci Rep 2022 Jan; 12(1): 491
Up to 170 tick-borne viruses (TBVs) have been identified to date. However, there is a paucity of information regarding TBVs and their interaction with respective vectors, limiting the development of new effective and urgently needed control methods. To overcome this gap of knowledge, it is essential to reproduce transmission cycles under controlled laboratory conditions. In this study we assessed an artificial feeding system (AFS) and an immersion technique (IT) to infect Ixodes ricinus ticks with tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and Kemerovo (KEM) virus, both known to be transmitted predominantly by ixodid ticks. Both methods permitted TBEV acquisition by ticks and we further confirmed virus trans-stadial transmission and onward transmission to a vertebrate host. However, only artificial feeding system allowed to demonstrate both acquisition by ticks and trans-stadial transmission for KEMV. Yet we did not observe transmission of KEMV to mice (IFNAR-/- or BALB/c). Artificial infection methods of ticks are important tools to study tick-virus interactions. When optimally used under laboratory settings, they provide important insights into tick-borne virus transmission cycles.