Scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have discovered that a virus called ‘cat que virus’ (CQV), has infected many in China, and may cause diseases like as febrile illnesses, meningitis, and pediatric encephalitis in India too.
The CQV virus is arthropod-borne viruses or arboviruses. These viruses have reportedly been found in China and Vietnam. And the presence of these viruses is found inside culex mosquitoes and pigs.
Species and subspecies of mosquitoes in India like aegypti, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and Cx. Tritaeniorhynchus are vulnerable to the CQV. And swine are the primary mammalian source of this virus. The confirmation of CQV from the jungle myna bird signifies the potential of this orthobunyavirus as a public health threat in India.
A research conducted by the scientists at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has reportedly found the presence of the antibodies for the CQV in two out of 883 human serum samples that were collected across the country.
This means that those two people had come in contact with the infection at some point in time. Therefore this has raised a fear of the CQV spread in India.
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 the 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.”
The two samples that were collected in which CQV anti-bodies were found were from Karnataka in the year 2014 and the other in 2017. However, the virus was not found in the samples – both in humans and animals.