CVC is a systemic disease that only survives in plant xylem or within its vector. X. fastidiosa has been shown to move from seed to seedling in sweet orange. CVC has a latency period of 9-12 months before symptoms occur. Natural spread of X. fastidiosa occurs by several species of sharpshooter leafhoppers in the order Hemiptera. At least 11 species of sharpshooter have been shown to vector CVC. Some of these species currently occur in the United States. Sharpshooters are xylem feeders and acquire X. fastidiosa within two hours of feeding. Sharpshooters have a high rate of feeding and retain infectivity indefinitely. Sharpshooters do not pass X. fastidiosa onto the next generation. Sharpshooters have an extensive host range and may undergo one to several generations per year.

Serrano, D., Serrano, E., Dewdney, M., and Southwick, C. (2010). Citrus Diseases. USDA/APHIS/PPQ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology. [09-14]