Expanding Usutu virus circulation in Italy: detection in the Lazio region, central Italy, 2017 to 2018

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Abstract

Blood donation screening for West Nile virus (WNV) was mandatory in the Lazio region in 2017 and 2018 (June-November) according to the national surveillance plan. In these years, all five donations reactive in WNV nucleic acid amplification tests harboured instead Usutu virus (USUV). Clade 'Europe 2' was identified in four blood donations and a 2018 mosquito pool. The cocirculation of WNV and USUV in Lazio warrants increased laboratory support and awareness of possible virus misidentification.

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Keywords

  • arbovirus
  • blood donation screening
  • blood-borne infections
  • emerging viruses
  • Flaviviridae
  • flavivirus
  • infection control
  • Italy
  • laboratory
  • surveillance
  • Usutu virus
  • vector-borne infections
  • viral infections
  • West Nile virus
  • zoonotic infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Virology

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