Rift valley fever virus: Strategies for maintenance, survival and vertical transmission in mosquitoes

Sarah Lumley, Daniel L. Horton, Luis L.M. Hernandez-Triana, Nicholas Johnson, Anthony R. Fooks, Roger Hewson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-borne arbovirus causing severe disease in humans and ruminants. Spread of RVFV out of Africa has raised concerns that it could emerge in Europe or the USA. Virus persistence is dependent on successful infection of, replication in, and transmission to susceptible vertebrate and invertebrate hosts, modulated by virus– host and vector–virus interactions. The principal accepted theory for the long-term maintenance of RVFV involves vertical transmission (VT) of virus to mosquito progeny, with the virus surviving long inter-epizootic periods within the egg. This VT hypothesis, however, is yet to be comprehensively proven. Here, evidence for and against the VT of RVFV is reviewed along with the identification of factors limiting its detection in natural and experimental data. The observations of VT for other arboviruses in the genera Alphavirus, Flavivirus and Orthobunyavirus are discussed within the context of RVFV. The review concludes that VT of RVFV is likely but that current data are insufficient to irrefutably prove this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000765
Pages (from-to)875-887
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Arbovirus
  • Mosquito
  • Rift Valley fever virus
  • Transovarian transmission
  • Vector
  • Vertical transmission


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