ICMR warns about a new virus

Scientists have warned about another virus Cat Que virus (CQV), which has infected several in China and may cause diseases such as febrile illnesses, meningitis, and paediatric encephalitis in India too.

The National Institute of Virology (NIV), ICMR, Pune discovered antibodies for the virus in two out of the 883 human serum samples. When a virus attacks the body, the immune system of humans forms antibodies in order to fight virus.

This means that these two people were infected with CQV at some point in time. However, the virus was not found in any of the human or animal samples at the time of the study.

The Indian Council of Medical Research revealed the presence of ‘Cat Que virus’ (CQV) in a species of mosquitoes called Culex, and also in pigs in China and Vietnam.

According to ICMR study “Due to the spread of similar species of the Culex mosquitoes in India, there is a need to understand the replication kinetics of this virus in mosquito models. Data showed that Indian mosquitoes were susceptible to CQV”.

So, this arthropod-borne virus (arboviruses) is usually carried by culex mosquitoes and pigs, and could cause fatal illness in humans in India.

“Anti-CQV IgG antibody positivity in human serum samples tested and the replication capability of CQV in mosquitoes indicated a possible disease-causing potential of CQV in Indian scenario,” the scientists added.