- In a study published recently in the Indian Journal of Medical Research,
- scientists from the Pune-based Maximum Containment Laboratory and ICMR-National Institute of Virology
- Have noted the presence of antibodies against the Cat Que virus (CQV) in two human serum samples.
- The presence of the Cat Que virus has been largely reported in Culex mosquitoes in China and in pigs in Vietnam.
What is the Cat Que virus?
- For CQV, domestic pigs are considered to be the primary mammalian hosts.
- Antibodies against the virus have been reported in swine reared locally in China,
- which indicates that the virus has formed a “natural cycle” in the local area and
- Has the ability to spread in pigs and other animal populations through mosquitoes.
- A paper published in the journal Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases in 2015 says that CQV belongs to the Simbu serogroup and infects both humans and economically important livestock species.
- It was first isolated in 2004 from mosquitoes during the surveillance of arbovirus activity in northern Vietnam.
How can humans get infected and is there a cause for concern?
- Humans can get infected through mosquitoes as well.
- In the study, scientists note that because of positivity in human serum samples and the replication capability of CQV in mosquitoes, there is only a “possible disease-causing potential” of CQV in the Indian scenario.
- CQV belongs to the genus Orthobunyavirus.
So, is this virus dangerous?
- It is not clear.
- Other viruses that belong to the same genus as CQV and are similarly transmitted through mosquitoes include the
- Cache valley virus that can cause meningitis,
- the La Crosse virus that can cause pediatric encephalitis,
- the Jamestown Canyon virus that causes Jamestown Canyon encephalitis and
- the Guaroa virus that causes febrile illness.