Needed - Just one precedent

Ursula Keuper-Bennett howzit at
Sat Sep 30 11:06:06 EST 1995


  I know there are diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes that get 
carried from victim to victim.  I also know there are ways of 
contracting a viral disease by breathing in (say) minute airborn feces 
particles and stuff.

  I need to know something very different.

  I want to know if there has been even ONE case of a viral disease that 
was transmitted by a vector by feeding off the tumours/lesions/open 
sores of an infected animal and then moving on to a healthy animal and 
perhaps through biting/probing (breaking skin) "injecting" the disease 
to another.

  A disease I am interested in, has the subjects involved in a cleaning 
relationship.  (fish cleaning turtles).  Lately, certain fish focus only 
on feeding off tumours - then head off to clean healthy turtles resting 
right beside tumoured ones.

  We observe these cleaners moving easily from heavily tumoured turtles 
to bite at the eyes of healthy ones.  (The disease frequently begins in 
the eyes of turtles.)

  I am wondering if there is a precedent.  Another disease that gets 
transmitted via a "cleaning" vector.  Can tumour material containing the 
virus become lodged in fish dentition for example?  And then in the 
course of biting a healthy animal, transmit the virus?  Is that 
something remotely possible?

  I have been surfing the Net all week until my back was sore.  I am now 
hitting dead ends and figure it is time to ask this where virologists 
hang out.

  Thank you for any help.

                      ^                  Ursula Keuper-Bennett
                     0 0                 Mississauga, Ontario
            /V^\     I I    /^V\         Email: howzit at
          /V     Turtle Trax    V\
        /V      Forever Green     V\

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