Powassan virus and its subtype, deer tick virus, are closely related tick-borne flaviviruses that circulate in North America. The incidence of human infection by these agents appears to have increased in recent years. To define exposure patterns among white-tailed deer, potentially useful sentinels that are frequently parasitized by ticks, we screened serum samples collected during 1979 -2010 in Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont for neutralizing antibody by using a novel recombinant deer tick virus -West Nile virus chimeric virus. Evidence of exposure was detected in all three states. Overall our results demonstrate that seroprevalence is variable in time and space, suggesting that risk of exposure to Powassan virus is similarly variable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases