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Usutu virus: A new threat?

  • M. Clé (a1), C. Beck (a2), S. Salinas (a1), S. Lecollinet (a2), S. Gutierrez (a3), P. Van de Perre (a4), T. Baldet (a3), V. Foulongne (a4) and Y. Simonin (a1)...

Abstract

Usutu virus (USUV) is an emerging arbovirus that was first isolated in South Africa in 1959. This Flavivirus is maintained in the environment through a typical enzootic cycle involving mosquitoes and birds. USUV has spread to a large part of the European continent over the two decades mainly leading to substantial avian mortalities with a significant recrudescence of bird infections recorded throughout Europe within the few last years. USUV infection in humans is considered to be most often asymptomatic or to cause mild clinical signs. Nonetheless, a few cases of neurological complications such as encephalitis or meningoencephalitis have been reported. USUV and West Nile virus (WNV) share many features, like a close phylogenetic relatedness and a similar ecology, with co-circulation frequently observed in nature. However, USUV has been much less studied and in-depth comparisons of the biology of these viruses are yet rare. In this review, we discuss the main body of knowledge regarding USUV and compare it with the literature on WNV, addressing in particular virological and clinical aspects, and pointing data gaps.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Y. Simonin, E-mail: yannick.simonin@umontpellier.fr; C. Beck, E-mail: Cecile.beck@anses.fr

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Keywords

Usutu virus: A new threat?

  • M. Clé (a1), C. Beck (a2), S. Salinas (a1), S. Lecollinet (a2), S. Gutierrez (a3), P. Van de Perre (a4), T. Baldet (a3), V. Foulongne (a4) and Y. Simonin (a1)...

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