Purified African horse sickness virus (AHSV) was fed, as part of a blood meal, to adult females from a susceptible colony of , established in the insectories at the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright Laboratory, UK. The meal consisted of heparinized blood obtained from ovine, bovine, equine (horse and donkey) or canine sources spiked with AHSV serotype 9 (AHSV9). The infectivity levels observed for varied significantly, according to the source of the blood sample. Comparison of the protein profiles obtained from AHSV9 incubated with the individual serum of plasma samples indicated that some species-specific serum proteases were able to cleave the outer capsid protein, VP2. The blood samples containing serum proteases that were able to cleave VP2 also showed an increase in infectivity for the insect vector when spiked with purified AHSV.


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