UTMB scientists wanted to study the transmission of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, but they first had to do something that had never been done before: find a way to work safely with ticks in a maximum containment “spacesuit lab.” They succeeded and have given researchers a crucial window into a virtually unknown aspect of one of the world's most widely distributed hemorrhagic fever viruses. “Ticks play such a vital role in the epidemiology of the disease — they're not only the vector but they are also the reservoir for the virus, yet nobody really knows what's happening to the virus in the ticks, because there's been no way to study it in the laboratory,” UTMB’s Dennis Bente said. “Now we can look at the complete transmission cycle in a controlled setting, examining how the virus is passed from infected animal to the uninfected tick, and from the infected tick to the uninfected animal. That’s something that people studying this in the field haven't been able to do before now.” The news also appears in Medical News Today, Vaccine News Daily and BioNews Texas.