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Rivista trimestrale di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria edita dall'Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise ‘G. Caporale’

A quarterly journal devoted to veterinary public health, veterinary science and medicine published by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise ‘G. Caporale’ in Teramo, Italy

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2013 - Volume 49 (3), July-September
Rapid communication
Mattia Calzolari, Federica Monaco, Fabrizio Montarsi, Paolo Bonilauri, Silvia Ravagnan, Romeo Bellini, Giovanni Cattoli, Paolo Cordioli, Stefania Cazzin, Chiara Pinoni, Valeria Marini, Silvano Natalini, Maria Goffredo, Paola Angelini, Francesca Russo, Michele Dottori, Gioia Capelli & Giovanni Savini
New incursions of West Nile virus lineage 2 in Italy in 2013: the value of the entomological surveillance as early warning system 315-319
doi: 10.12834/VetIt.1308.04
First published on line: 04.09.2013
West Nile virus (WNV) is one of the most serious public health threats that Europe and the Mediterranean countries are currently facing. In Italy, WNV emerged in 1998 and has been circulating since 2008. To tackle its continuous incursions, Italian national and regional institutions set up a surveillance program, which includes the serological screening of sentinel horses, sentinel-chickens and backyard poultry flocks and the surveillance on all equine neurological cases, resident captured and wild dead birds, and vectors. This communication aims to assess the importance of the entomological surveillance program as an early warning system for WNV circulation. In the province of Modena, the circulation of WNV lineage 2 strains was first detected in pools of Culex pipiens on July the 3rd, 42 days prior to the onset of the first 2013 human WNV neuroinvasive case reported in the same province. Similarly in Veneto, WNV was first detected on July 3rd in a pool of Cx. pipiens collected in the province of Venezia. The first human neuroinvasive case in this region occurred in the Rovigo province on July the 24th, seven days after the detection of WNV lineage 2 in a mosquito pool collected in the same province. Up to the end of July 2013, WNV circulation was further detected in several other pools of Cx. pipiens mosquitoes collected in Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Lombardia. According to the NS3 partial sequence alignments including all recent European and Italian Lineage 2 strains, the new circulating WNV lineage 2 strains share high nt homology with the Hungarian and with the previous lineage 2 strains isolated in Veneto and Sardegna in 2011 and 2012. These data provide a clear and practical demonstration of the relevance of a reliable entomological surveillance program to early detect WNV in Italy.

Culex pipiens, Early warning system, Entomological surveillance system, Italy, West Nile virus lineage 2.

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