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Rev Med Virol. 2001 May-Jun;11(3):165-90.

Persistence of arboviruses and antiviral antibodies in vertebrate hosts: its occurrence and impacts.

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Arbovirus Diseases Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, CO, USA.


The recent isolation of West Nile virus from a bird in mid-winter in New York immediately raised, as one of a few explanations, the possibility of long-term persistence of arboviruses in vertebrate hosts. Although it was a highly popular topic for research many years ago, generally it has since been neglected and its meaning under appreciated. This comprehensive survey of literature worldwide uncovered, contrary to the general perception that it is a rather infrequent phenomenon, a large number of important observations involving all groups of arboviruses that have been accumulating over the years without drawing much attention. In this review, the data and observations were analysed in terms of the occurrence, role in natural transmission, mechanisms and genesis of persistence, source of problems in research and impact. The outcome of the analyses clearly demonstrates that asymptomatic, long-term infection in the absence of viraemia with or without the induction of neutralising antibody, the most frequent characteristics of arboviral persistence, presents a serious question about the validity of some of the past animal experiments that were conducted without the consideration of such a possibility. Likewise, significant impacts are felt on diverse fields ranging from epidemiology to diagnostic virology and from veterinary medicine to agricultural commerce. Published in 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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