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- Flavivirus, positive strand RNA virus.
- Tick-borne encephalitis group
- Two lineages: can only be distinguished by molecular techniques, both capable of causing human infection.
- Powassan virus prototype (POWV lineage 1): enzootic cycle with tick Ixodes cookei and groundhogs or skunks.
- Deer tick virus (DTV, or POWV lineage 2): enzootic cycle between Ixodes scapularis and white-footed mice, same as Lyme disease.