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      Haemaphysalis longicornis Ticks as Reservoir and Vector of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus in China

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          Abstract

          Transstadial and transovarial virus transmission occur among ticks, and transmission to mice can occur through a tick bite.

          Abstract

          Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging hemorrhagic fever in East Asia caused by SFTS virus (SFTSV), a newly discovered phlebovirus. The Haemaphysalis longicornis tick has been suspected to be the vector of SFTSV. To determine whether SFTSV can be transmitted among ticks, from ticks to animals, and from animals to ticks, we conducted transmission studies between developmental stages of H. longicornis ticks and between ticks and mice. Using reverse transcription PCR, we also analyzed the prevalence of SFTSV infection among H. longicornis ticks collected from vegetation in Shandong Province, China. Our results showed a low prevalence of SFTSV among collected ticks (0.2%, 8/3,300 ticks), and we showed that ticks fed on SFTSV-infected mice could acquire the virus and transstadially and transovarially transmit it to other developmental stages of ticks. Furthermore, SFTSV-infected ticks could transmit the virus to mice during feeding. Our findings indicate ticks could serve as a vector and reservoir of SFTSV.

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          Most cited references 16

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          MEGA5: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis using maximum likelihood, evolutionary distance, and maximum parsimony methods.

          Comparative analysis of molecular sequence data is essential for reconstructing the evolutionary histories of species and inferring the nature and extent of selective forces shaping the evolution of genes and species. Here, we announce the release of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 5 (MEGA5), which is a user-friendly software for mining online databases, building sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, and using methods of evolutionary bioinformatics in basic biology, biomedicine, and evolution. The newest addition in MEGA5 is a collection of maximum likelihood (ML) analyses for inferring evolutionary trees, selecting best-fit substitution models (nucleotide or amino acid), inferring ancestral states and sequences (along with probabilities), and estimating evolutionary rates site-by-site. In computer simulation analyses, ML tree inference algorithms in MEGA5 compared favorably with other software packages in terms of computational efficiency and the accuracy of the estimates of phylogenetic trees, substitution parameters, and rate variation among sites. The MEGA user interface has now been enhanced to be activity driven to make it easier for the use of both beginners and experienced scientists. This version of MEGA is intended for the Windows platform, and it has been configured for effective use on Mac OS X and Linux desktops. It is available free of charge from http://www.megasoftware.net.
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            Fever with thrombocytopenia associated with a novel bunyavirus in China.

            Heightened surveillance of acute febrile illness in China since 2009 has led to the identification of a severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) with an unknown cause. Infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum has been suggested as a cause, but the pathogen has not been detected in most patients on laboratory testing. We obtained blood samples from patients with the case definition of SFTS in six provinces in China. The blood samples were used to isolate the causal pathogen by inoculation of cell culture and for detection of viral RNA on polymerase-chain-reaction assay. The pathogen was characterized on electron microscopy and nucleic acid sequencing. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, indirect immunofluorescence assay, and neutralization testing to analyze the level of virus-specific antibody in patients' serum samples. We isolated a novel virus, designated SFTS bunyavirus, from patients who presented with fever, thrombocytopenia, leukocytopenia, and multiorgan dysfunction. RNA sequence analysis revealed that the virus was a newly identified member of the genus phlebovirus in the Bunyaviridae family. Electron-microscopical examination revealed virions with the morphologic characteristics of a bunyavirus. The presence of the virus was confirmed in 171 patients with SFTS from six provinces by detection of viral RNA, specific antibodies to the virus in blood, or both. Serologic assays showed a virus-specific immune response in all 35 pairs of serum samples collected from patients during the acute and convalescent phases of the illness. A novel phlebovirus was identified in patients with a life-threatening illness associated with fever and thrombocytopenia in China. (Funded by the China Mega-Project for Infectious Diseases and others.).
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              The First Identification and Retrospective Study of Severe Fever With Thrombocytopenia Syndrome in Japan

              Abstract Background.  Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is caused by SFTS virus (SFTSV), a novel bunyavirus reported to be endemic in central and northeastern China. This article describes the first identified patient with SFTS and a retrospective study on SFTS in Japan. Methods.  Virologic and pathologic examinations were performed on the patient's samples. Laboratory diagnosis of SFTS was made by isolation/genome amplification and/or the detection of anti-SFTSV immunoglobulin G antibody in sera. Physicians were alerted to the initial diagnosis and asked whether they had previously treated patients with symptoms similar to those of SFTS. Results.  A female patient who died in 2012 received a diagnosis of SFTS. Ten additional patients with SFTS were then retrospectively identified. All patients were aged ≥50 years and lived in western Japan. Six cases were fatal. The ratio of males to females was 8:3. SFTSV was isolated from 8 patients. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that all of the Japanese SFTSV isolates formed a genotype independent to those from China. Most patients showed symptoms due to hemorrhage, possibly because of disseminated intravascular coagulation and/or hemophagocytosis. Conclusions.  SFTS has been endemic to Japan, and SFTSV has been circulating naturally within the country.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Emerg Infect Dis
                Emerging Infect. Dis
                EID
                Emerging Infectious Diseases
                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                1080-6040
                1080-6059
                October 2015
                : 21
                : 10
                : 1770-1776
                Affiliations
                Shandong University, Jinan, China (L.-M. Luo, L. Zhao, H.-L. Wen, J.-W. Liu, L.-Z. Fang, X.-S. Zhang, X.-Y. Lei, X.-j. Yu);
                Huangdao District Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Qingdao City, China (Z.-T. Zhang, Z.-F. Xue, D.-Q. Ma);
                Shandong Province Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Jinan (S.-J. Ding);
                University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA (X.-j. Yu)
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Xue-jie Yu, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555-0609, USA; email: xuyu@ 123456utmb.edu
                Article
                15-0126
                10.3201/eid2110.150126
                4593435
                26402039
                Categories
                Research
                Research
                Haemaphysalis longicornis Ticks as Reservoir and Vector of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus in China

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