Larvae, nymphs and adults of Amblyomma variegatum, and nymphs and adults of Hyalomma rufipes were infected with Dugbe virus by intracoelomic inoculation. Each developmental stage of tick was divided into three groups A, B and C and the three groups were infected respectively with a Dugbe, virus concentration of 4.5 LD50 (log10), 1.5 LD50 (log10) and 0.5 LD50 (log10). The virus multiplied to a high titre in groups A and B and reached a peak which was over 5 (log10) the infective doses of some of the larvae and nymphs.
With the exception of group B adult H. rufipes (with an infection rate of 65%), all other ticks in groups A and B have an infection rate of between 97 to 100%. The infection rate of group C ticks was below 40%.
The 1–5% infection threshold occurred with a dose higher than 0.5 log10 in larvae of A. variegatum and adults of H. rufipes, but with a dose lower than 0.5 (log10) in all other stages of the two tick species. The 50% infection threshold occurred with a dose less than 1.5 (log10) in all the developmental stages of the two tick species.
All the developmental stages of ticks transmitted Dugbe virus to rabbits during feeding.