Maharashtra: As India struggles to control the spread of COVID-19, a team of scientists at National Institute of Virology (NIV), ICMR in Maharashtra have warned of another new virus, known as 'Cat Que virus' (CQV)

Cat Que virus from China is said to have the potential to spread diseases in India.

The presence of 'Cat Que virus' (CQV) in a species of mosquitoes called Culex, and in pigs was reported in China and Vietnam.

The study was conducted during 2017 to 2018 in the ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune after obtaining prior approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee.

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The two human samples that were found to be positive, using indigenously developed tests, for the presence of anti-CQV IgG antibodies, were from Karnataka in 2014 and 2017.

Earlier, the mosquito specimens were collected from pigpens in Bazhong and Longchang counties, in eastern Sichuan, China, during July in 2006 and 2008 by a group of scientists from US and China.

All human serum samples screened for the presence of CQV, using real-time RT-PCR, were found to be negative, the research institute said. Antibodies are formed by the immune system of humans when a virus attacks the body.