The arthropod-borne virus has a possible disease causing potential in the Indian scenario.
With India battling to fight COVID-19, another virus was detected by scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) called ‘Cat Que Virus’ (CQV), which has the potential to cause diseases.
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It belongs to the arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) category and is capable of causing severe conditions like febrile illnesses, meningitis and paediatric encephalitis in humans. Traces of Cat Que Virus (CQV) have been found in culex mosquitoes and pigs in parts of China and Vietnam.
Researchers at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune found antibodies for the virus in two out of the 883 human serum samples from various states. Tests indicated that the duo had contracted the virus at some point of time, but had anti-CQV IgG antibodies. Both the samples were from Karnataka and were reported in 2014 and 2017.
As per the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), ICMR said, "Anti-CQV IgG antibody positivity in human serum samples tested and the replication capability of CQV in mosquitoes indicated a possible disease causing potential of CQV in Indian scenario. Screening of more human and swine serum samples using these assays is required as a proactive measure for understanding the prevalence of this neglected tropical virus."
As per the ICMR study, Indian mosquito breeds - Ae. aegypti, Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. Tritaeniorhynchus were vulnerable to CQV.
The Cat Que Virus has been isolated and reported from its natural host, mosquito (culex tritaeniorhynchus), but the role of birds as a host for CQV transmission has not been documented. Domestic pigs are mammalian hosts of CQV and antibodies against the virus have been reported in pigs reared in China. This indicates that unfortunately, CQV has formed a natural cycle in local areas.