Epidemiology and Infection

Short Report

Insect-borne

West Nile virus lineage 2 in Sardinian wild birds in 2012: a further threat to public health

G. SAVINIa1 c1, G. PUGGIONIa2, A. DI GENNAROa1, G. DI FRANCESCOa1, A. M. ROCCHIGIANIa2, A. POLCIa1, V. MARINIa1, C. PINONIa1, S. ROLESUa2, G. MARRUCHELLAa1, A. LORUSSOa1 and F. MONACOa1

a1 OIE Reference Laboratory for West Nile disease, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e Molise ‘G. Caporale’, Teramo, Italy

a2 Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna, Sassari, Italy

SUMMARY

West Nile virus (WNV) strains belonging to lineage 2 were detected and isolated from the tissues of a goshawk and two carrion crows in Sardinia in August 2012. According to NS3 sequence analysis, the Sardinian isolates shared a high level of similarity with those of Italian lineage 2 strains which circulated in 2011 and with the homologous sequence of the 2004 Hungarian isolate. Following the human fatality reported in 2011 in Olbia, this study is the first to report the spread and enzootic circulation of WNV lineage 2 in Sardinia.

(Received October 03 2012)

(Revised December 12 2012)

(Accepted December 21 2012)

(Online publication January 24 2013)

Key words

  • Veterinary epidemiology;
  • veterinary virology;
  • virus infection;
  • West Nile virus;
  • zoonoses

Correspondence

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr G. Savini, OIE Reference Laboratory for West Nile disease, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e Molise ‘G. Caporale’, Via Campo Boario, 64100 Teramo, Italy. (Email: g.savini@izs.it)

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