Volume 79, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Deer tick virus (DTV), a variant of Powassan virus (POWV), appears to be maintained in nature in an enzootic cycle between ticks and small mammals. Although POWV infection of human beings is rare, a recent report suggests increasing incidence and the possibility that POWV may be an emerging tick-borne zoonosis. Therefore, we assessed the long-term stability of the POWV transmission cycle in northwestern Wisconsin. Adult and were collected from Hayward and Spooner, Wisconsin, screened for infection by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and virus was isolated. Seventeen of 1,335 (1.3%) of and 0 of 222 (0%) of ticks were infected. All isolated virus belonged to the DTV genotype of POWV. These findings suggest stable transmission of POWV in this focus over ten years and highlight the potential for this agent to emerge as a public health concern.


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  • Received : 29 Jul 2008
  • Accepted : 05 Sep 2008

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