Submitted to: Research Workers in Animal Diseases Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 11, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Bluetongue viruses (BTV) are economically important arboviruses because they cause disease in cattle and sheep. We are investigating the interactions of these viruses with the insect vector, Culicoides spp., because of the importance of this vector in transmission and distribution of these viruses. We have shown that the inner core protein, VP7, is involved in virus binding to insect membrane proteins. BTV particles (whole and core) and an VP7 anti-idiotype bind to membrane preparations of North American vector species, C. variipennis. A putative receptor protein with a molecular weight of 23 kDa has been identified using two different virus binding protocols. Molecular epidemiology studies have also demonstrated a trend for VP7 genetic sequences to be associated with different geographic regions. This might reflect a preference by the insect vector species in a geographical location for certain VP7 sequences.