Detection of Usutu virus within a West Nile virus surveillance program in Northern Italy

CAA Centro Agricoltura Ambiente > Scientific Papers > Entomologia e Zoologia Sanitarie > Detection of Usutu virus within a West Nile virus surveillance program in Northern Italy

Tamba M., P. Bonilauri, R. Bellini, M. Calzolari, A. Albieri, V. Sambri, M. Dottori, P. Angelini

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 11(5): 551-557

Usutu virus (USUV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus belonging to the Japanese encephalitis serocomplex, recentlyrelated to neurological disease in immunosuppressed patients. In the same area of Northern Italy where USUVhuman cases occurred in 2009, a regional West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance program based on mosquitomonitoring and wild birds screening has been implemented since 2008. Mosquito pools and wild birds weretested using three different polymerase chain reactions (Flavivirus, WNV, and USUV). During summer 2009, 56pools (54 consisting ofCulex pipiensand 2 ofAedes albopictus) and 27 pools (Cx. pipiens) out of 1789 mosquitopools were, respectively, USUV and WNV positive. Moreover, out of 1218 wild birds tested, 44 were WNVpositive, whereas only 11 birds were USUV positive by polymerase chain reaction. Data collected during 2009prove a cocirculation of USUV and WNV in Northern Italy, but these two viruses show different incidencevalues in both mosquitoes and birds, suggesting involvement of different animals (other bird species ormammals) in their natural cycles. The cocirculation of WNV and USUV poses a new potential threat to humanhealth in this area. The extent of WNV surveillance to other Flaviviruses will require new diagnostic proceduresable to process a large number of samples in a limited period of time and highlights the importance of devel-oping more specific serological tests that could be used in field


Scarica articolo