ARBOVIRUS is short for arthropod-borne virus, and describes viruses that are transmitted between vertebrate hosts by insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies or midges. Scientists have discovered more than 500 arboviruses, although only a small number have medical relevance.
For most animals, once they have been infected with an arbovirus they will develop a life-long immunity. Therefore, an arboviruses needs a ready supply of naive hosts.
Dengue virus has evolved to use humans as the ‘natural host’ although most others use small mammals or birds due to their higher reproductive rate.
When an arbovirus causes disease, it usually leads to one of three clinical syndromes: Fever-arthralgia-rash (FAR); viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) or CNS infection.
Some of the common arboviruses to consider:
- Yellow Fever
- Japanese Encephalitis
- O’nyong nyong
- West Nile
- Ross River
- Rift Valley Fever
- Tick-borne Colorado Fever
Border Cross (Jan 2014)