This virus was first isolated from Argas pusillus ticks collected from bats in Malaysia and from the bloods of those bats (Scotophilus temmencki), and has been isolated from ticks and mosquitoes that had fed on infected bats. It was subsequently isolated from pooled brain, liver, spleen, and kidney tissues of other bats in Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikistan. The virus also was isolated from a staff member of a virology institute in Tadzhikistan who had contracted the infection during field work with bats. Sporadic human cases of this disease have been recognized for more than 20 years in central Asia, particularly in Tadzhikistan, and in Malaysia, and the virus may occur in parts ofIran, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. The nonfatal illness caused by this virus is characterized by fever, headache, and myalgias, which are sufficiently nonspecific to be generally undiagnosed or mistaken for diseases caused by other pathogens.
Experimental infections of African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops), golden hamsters (Mesocrictus auratus), and laboratory mice with the Issyk-Kul strain of this virus demonstrated virus in blood and organs of all animals. Histological studies revealed inflammatory and dystrophic changes in the central nervous system, lungs, liver, and kidneys and pronounced morphological changes in the spleen. The virus is pantropic, causing generalized infection in all animals, irrespective of the route of infection. In monkeys, asymptomatic infection was accompanied by marked organ damages and viremia.
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