Ticks infected with Jingmenvirus in Europe
A newly discovered group of Jingmenviruses have been shown to infect a wide range of hosts and are associated with febrile illness in humans.

In a Jingmenvirus survey of ticks from Lower Saxony, Germany, Alongshan virus (ALSV) was identified in ticks of Ixodes spp. Further virus screening showed the presence of ALSV in the bodies and saliva of ticks collected in 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.

Taken together, these results demonstrate a wide distribution of ALSV in ticks in Lower Saxony and suggest frequent exposure of animals based on serological studies. Therefore, the potential risk to human and animal health requires further investigation.

The virus has already been detected in several European countries, in ticks in Finland and France and in humans in Kosovo. Environmental changes due to global warming and loss of biodiversity, as well as increased travel, are contributing to the spread of pathogens and increasing public health risks.

Therefore, surveillance and the establishment of infection models for new and emerging pathogens is important to gain more knowledge about their occurrence, transmission and spread. In particular, next-generation sequencing (NGS) has led to the discovery of many new pathogens, most of which are known only by their sequence, but data on host range, vectors and transmission cycles are lacking.


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