A review of West Nile and Usutu virus co-circulation in Europe: how much do transmission cycles overlap?

Nikolay, B; (2015) A review of West Nile and Usutu virus co-circulation in Europe: how much do transmission cycles overlap? Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. ISSN 0035-9203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/trstmh/trv066

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Due to the increasing global spread of arboviruses, the geographic extent of virus co-circulation is expanding. This complicates the diagnosis of febrile conditions and can have direct effects on the epidemiology. As previously demonstrated, subsequent infections by two closely related viruses, such as those belonging to the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) serocomplex, can lead to partial or complete cross-immunity, altering the risk of infections or the outcome of disease. Two flaviviruses that may interact at population level are West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV). These pathogens have antigenic cross-reactivity and affect human and animal populations throughout Europe. This systematic review investigates the overlap of WNV and USUV transmission cycles, not only geographically but also in terms of host and vector ranges. Co-circulation of WNV and USUV was reported in 10 countries and the viruses were found to infect 34 common bird species belonging to 11 orders. Moreover, four mosquito species are potential vectors for both viruses. Taken together, these data suggest that WNV and USUV transmission overlaps substantially in Europe and highlight the importance of further studies investigating the interactions between the two viruses within host and vector populations.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 26286946
Web of Science ID: 361571400003
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2281286


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