The role of hematophagous arthropods in vesicular stomatitis virus (New Jersey serotype; VSV-NJ) transmission during epizootics has remained unclear for decades in part because it has never been shown that clinical or subclinical disease in a livestock host results from the bite of an infected insect. In this study, we investigated the ability of VSV-NJ–infected black flies (Simulium vittatum Zetterstedt) to transmit the virus to domestic swine, Sus scrofa L. Experimental evidence presented here clearly demonstrates that VSV-NJ was transmitted from black flies to the swine. Transmission was confirmed by seroconversion or by the presence of clinical vesicular stomatitis followed by seroconversion. Our results represent the first report of clinical vesicular stomatitis in a livestock host after virus transmission by an insect.
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Vol. 41 • No. 1