In January 2022, West Nile virus (WNV) lineage 2 (L2) was detected in an adult female goshawk rescued near Perugia in the region of Umbria (Italy). The animal showed neurological symptoms and died 15 days after its recovery in a wildlife rescue center. This was the second case of WNV infection recorded in birds in the Umbria region during the cold season, when mosquitoes, the main WNV vectors, are usually not active. According to the National Surveillance Plan, the Umbria region is included amongst the WNV low-risk areas. The necropsy evidenced generalized pallor of the mucous membranes, mild splenomegaly, and cerebral edema. WNV L2 was detected in the brain, heart, kidney, and spleen homogenate using specific RT-PCR. Subsequently, the extracted viral RNA was sequenced. A Bayesian phylogenetic analysis performed through a maximum-likelihood tree showed that the genome sequence clustered with the Italian strains within the European WNV strains among the central-southern European WNV L2 clade. These results, on the one hand, confirmed that the WNV L2 strains circulating in Italy are genetically stable and, on the other hand, evidenced a continuous WNV circulation in Italy throughout the year. In this report case, a bird-to-bird WNV transmission was suggested to support the virus overwintering. The potential transmission through the oral route in a predatory bird may explain the relatively rapid spread of WNV, as well as other flaviviruses characterized by similar transmission patterns. However, rodent-to-bird transmission or mosquito-to-bird transmission cannot be excluded, and further research is needed to better understand WNV transmission routes during the winter season in Italy

Mencattelli, G.; Iapaolo, F.; Polci, A.; Marcacci, M.; Di Gennaro, A.; Teodori, L.; Curini, V.; Di Lollo, V.; Secondini, B.; Scialabba, S.; Gobbi, M.; Manuali, E.; Cammà, C.; Rosà, R.; Rizzoli, A.; Monaco, F.; Savini, G. (2022). West Nile Virus lineage 2 overwintering in Italy. TROPICAL MEDICINE AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE, 7 (8): 160. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed7080160 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/76455

West Nile Virus lineage 2 overwintering in Italy

Mencattelli, Giulia
Primo
;
Rizzoli, Annapaola;
2022

Abstract

In January 2022, West Nile virus (WNV) lineage 2 (L2) was detected in an adult female goshawk rescued near Perugia in the region of Umbria (Italy). The animal showed neurological symptoms and died 15 days after its recovery in a wildlife rescue center. This was the second case of WNV infection recorded in birds in the Umbria region during the cold season, when mosquitoes, the main WNV vectors, are usually not active. According to the National Surveillance Plan, the Umbria region is included amongst the WNV low-risk areas. The necropsy evidenced generalized pallor of the mucous membranes, mild splenomegaly, and cerebral edema. WNV L2 was detected in the brain, heart, kidney, and spleen homogenate using specific RT-PCR. Subsequently, the extracted viral RNA was sequenced. A Bayesian phylogenetic analysis performed through a maximum-likelihood tree showed that the genome sequence clustered with the Italian strains within the European WNV strains among the central-southern European WNV L2 clade. These results, on the one hand, confirmed that the WNV L2 strains circulating in Italy are genetically stable and, on the other hand, evidenced a continuous WNV circulation in Italy throughout the year. In this report case, a bird-to-bird WNV transmission was suggested to support the virus overwintering. The potential transmission through the oral route in a predatory bird may explain the relatively rapid spread of WNV, as well as other flaviviruses characterized by similar transmission patterns. However, rodent-to-bird transmission or mosquito-to-bird transmission cannot be excluded, and further research is needed to better understand WNV transmission routes during the winter season in Italy
West Nile virus
Flavivirus
Birds of prey
Overwintering
Bird-to-bird transmission
Rodent-to-bird transmission
Hybrid mosquitoes
Surveillance
Settore VET/06 - PARASSITOLOGIA E MALATTIE PARASSITARIE DEGLI ANIMALI
Mencattelli, G.; Iapaolo, F.; Polci, A.; Marcacci, M.; Di Gennaro, A.; Teodori, L.; Curini, V.; Di Lollo, V.; Secondini, B.; Scialabba, S.; Gobbi, M.; Manuali, E.; Cammà, C.; Rosà, R.; Rizzoli, A.; Monaco, F.; Savini, G. (2022). West Nile Virus lineage 2 overwintering in Italy. TROPICAL MEDICINE AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE, 7 (8): 160. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed7080160 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/76455
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/76455
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