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Seroprevalence of Toscana virus in dogs from Corsica, France

Dahmani, Mustapha, Alwassouf, Sulaf, Grech-Angelini, Sébastien, Marié, Jean-Lou, Davoust, Bernard, Charrel, Rémi N.
Parasites & vectors 2016 v.9 no.1 pp. 381
neutralization, Phlebotomus, central nervous system, meningitis, seroprevalence, humans, Sandfly fever Naples phlebovirus, dogs, arboviruses, encephalitis, coasts, neutralizing antibodies, patients, wild animals, females, adults, France, Mediterranean region, Corsica
BACKGROUND: Toscana virus (TOSV) is an arbovirus belonging to the Bunyaviridae, a family of negative-stranded, enveloped RNA viruses. The virus can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected female sand fly of the genus Phlebotomus. Infections are usually asymptomatic but the virus is known to cause aseptic meningitis and/or meningo-encephalitis in the Mediterranean countries. Dogs are good sentinels for detection of viral circulation and are more easily accessible than wild animals. FINDINGS: In 2013 and 2014, we collected sera from 231 adult dogs living in 26 counties in two departments in Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean. The virus microneutralization-based seroprevalence assay revealed a seropositivity of 3.9 % dogs on the eastern coast of Corsica. CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirms the circulation of TOSV in Corsica. Accordingly, in geographical areas where dogs possess TOSV neutralizing antibodies, direct and indirect TOSV diagnosis should be implemented in patients presenting with febrile illnesses and central nervous system infections such as meningitis and encephalitis.