Detection of Murine Herpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) in Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks.

Microbial ecology

PubMedID: 25947097

Kúdelová M, Belvoncíková P, Vrbová M, Kovalová A, Štibrániová I, Kocáková P, Slovák M, Špitalská E, Lapuníková B, Matúšková R, Šupolíková M. Detection of Murine Herpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) in Dermacentor reticulatus Ticks. Microb Ecol. 2015;.
Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV 4) strain 68 (MHV-68) is a natural pathogen of murid rodents, which serves as hosts to Dermacentor reticulatus ticks. These ticks are known to transmit multiple pathogens, which can cause diseases in humans and animals. Recently, the detection of MHV-68 antibodies in the blood of animals living in the same biotope as virus-infected mice has suggested the role of ticks in pathogen circulation in nature. Herein, to identify MHV-68 in D. reticulatus ticks, DNA samples from 432 adults were collected at two sites in southwestern Slovakia from 2011 to 2014. Samples were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), targeting ORF50 of MHV-68. Ignoring season and locality, we have found 25. 9 % of the male and 44. 9 % of the female ticks to be positive. Within ticks collected in Vojka, 40 % (125/312) became positive, at a rate of approximately 6. 8 times higher in spring than in autumn (66 vs 9. 7 %). In addition, in the spring, 1. 4 times more females were positive than males. Within ticks collected in Gabcíkovo, 23. 3 % (28/120) became positive, with positive females being twice as frequent. The infecting virus was identified by analyzing amplified products via sequencing and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses. Using an explantation/co-cultivation procedure, we examined the salivary glands, intestines, and ovaries of five females for live MHV-68. In all organs of two ticks, we identified a virus capable of replication in mammalian cells. This is the first report of MHV-68 detection in D. reticulatus ticks and of a live virus in their organs. FINDINGS
encourage further study to determine whether this potential arbovirus, found in salivary glands, is transmissible.It further supports the hypothesis regarding the mediating role of ticks in MHV-68 circulation in nature.