Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 40, Number 2, March-April 2009
Adaptative strategies of vector-borne pathogens to vectorial transmission
Number of page(s) 16
Published online 19 December 2008
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2009) 40:16
How to cite this article: Vet. Res. (2009) 40:16
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2008054


Adaptive strategies of African horse sickness virus to facilitate vector transmission

Anthony Wilson, Philip Scott Mellor, Camille Szmaragd and Peter Paul Clement Mertens

Vector-Borne Disease Programme, Institute for Animal Health, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey, GU24 0NF, United Kingdom

Received 9 September 2008; accepted 16 December 2008; published online 19 December 2008

Abstract - African horse sickness virus (AHSV) is an orbivirus that is usually transmitted between its equid hosts by adult Culicoides midges. In this article, we review the ways in which AHSV may have adapted to this mode of transmission. The AHSV particle can be modified by the pH or proteolytic enzymes of its immediate environment, altering its ability to infect different cell types. The degree of pathogenesis in the host and vector may also represent adaptations maximising the likelihood of successful vectorial transmission. However, speculation upon several adaptations for vectorial transmission is based upon research on related viruses such as bluetongue virus (BTV), and further direct studies of AHSV are required in order to improve our understanding of this important virus.

Key words: African horse sickness / AHSV / vector / Culicoides

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2009