Cat Que virus

  • 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.