Tacaribe virus (Arenaviridae)
Found In Lone Star Ticks
The Tacarbie virus is a once lost 'arena virus' recently discovered in highly prevalent, aggressive, human and animal biting tick species in Florida.
“We never thought we would find an arenavirus in a tick,” Sayler says in a UF release. “These types of viruses are usually transmitted by rodents.”
Some of the viruses in this family are associated with severe hemorrhagic (bleeding) disease and high death rates among people in South America and sub-Saharan Africa, according to the University of Florida researchers.
The virus has never before been found in animals or people in the United States, but the researchers found it in nearly 10 percent of Lone Star ticks they trapped in north central Florida. Tacaribe kills bats infected with the virus.
“Healthcare professionals should also be aware of the potential tick-transmitted pathogens that occur besides the one that causes Lyme disease,” Sayler says. “Medical doctors can’t be aware of every emerging tropical disease, but if we have greater awareness of emerging diseases, we can move forward from a proactive surveillance effort instead of from a reactive effort, when there is suddenly a huge outbreak and a crisis situation.”
There is no known treatment.