Centro Agricoltura Ambiente G Nicoli Caa

Crevalcore, Italy

Centro Agricoltura Ambiente G Nicoli Caa

Crevalcore, Italy
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Calzolari M.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Della Lombardia E Dellemilia Romagna B Ubertini Izsler | Gaibani P.,S. Orsola Malpighi University Hospital | Bellini R.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente G Nicoli Caa | Defilippo F.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Della Lombardia E Dellemilia Romagna B Ubertini Izsler | And 17 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: In 2008, after the first West Nile virus (WNV) detection in the Emilia-Romagna region, a surveillance system, including mosquito- and bird-based surveillance, was established to evaluate the virus presence. Surveillance was improved in following years by extending the monitoring to larger areas and increasing the numbers of mosquitoes and birds tested. Methodology/Principal Findings: A network of mosquito traps, evenly distributed and regularly activated, was set up within the surveyed area. A total of 438,558 mosquitoes, grouped in 3,111 pools and 1,276 birds (1,130 actively sampled and 146 from passive surveillance), were tested by biomolecular analysis. The survey detected WNV in 3 Culex pipiens pools while Usutu virus (USUV) was found in 89 Cx. pipiens pools and in 2 Aedes albopictus pools. Two birds were WNV-positive and 12 were USUV-positive. Furthermore, 30 human cases of acute meningoencephalitis, possibly caused by WNV or USUV, were evaluated for both viruses and 1,053 blood bags were tested for WNV, without any positive result. Conclusions/Significance: Despite not finding symptomatic human WNV infections during 2010, the persistence of the virus, probably due to overwintering, was confirmed through viral circulation in mosquitoes and birds, as well as for USUV. In 2010, circulation of the two viruses was lower and more delayed than in 2009, but this decrease was not explained by the relative abundance of Cx. pipiens mosquito, which was greater in 2010. The USUV detection in mosquito species confirms the role of Cx. pipiens as the main vector and the possible involvement of Ae. albopictus in the virus cycle. The effects of meteorological conditions on the presence of USUV-positive mosquito pools were considered finding an association with drought conditions and a wide temperature range. The output produced by the surveillance system demonstrated its usefulness and reliability in terms of planning public health policies. © 2012 Calzolari et al.


Calzolari M.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Della Lombardia E Dellemilia Romagna B Ubertini Izsler | Gaibani P.,Storsola Malpighi Hospital | Bellini R.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente G Nicoli Caa | Bonilauri P.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Della Lombardia E Dellemilia Romagna B Ubertini Izsler | And 11 more authors.
Giornale Italiano di Medicina Tropicale | Year: 2011

Usutu virus (USUV), an African Flavivirus, was detected for the first time in Europe in 2001. This virus had rarely been associated with disease in human but in Emilia-Romagna region USUV-related illnesses were reported in two immunocompromised patients in 2009 and USUV IgG-specific antibodies were recently identified in this region in four healthy blood donors with no history of flavivirus infection. In 2009 and 2010 a widely presence of USUV was detected in Emilia-Romagna region trough a multidisciplinary surveillance system. The circulation of the virus in the environment was demonstrated by the relevant number of PCR-USUV positive mosquito pools, 147 out of 4,900 tested, and PCR-USUV positive birds 23 out of 2,483 tested, while the virus was PCR undetected in the tested human samples from 30 subjects with clinical symptoms of meningoencephalitis. The relevant level of USUV detected in the environment, in mosquitoes and birds, without human detections, suggest a low capability of USUV to infect humans. This capability, though at low level, raising the potential pathogenicity of USUV for humans, at least in immunocompromised individuals, and pointing out the necessity to know the potential circulation of this virus in the environment and to test its presence in the blood bags.


Calzolari M.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Della Lombardia E Dellemilia Romagna B Ubertini Izsler | Bonilauri P.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Della Lombardia E Dellemilia Romagna B Ubertini Izsler | Bellini R.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente G Nicoli Caa | Albieri A.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente G Nicoli Caa | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background:The circulation of West Nile virus and Usutu virus was detected in the Emilia-Romagna region in 2008 and 2009. To evaluate the extent of circulation of both viruses, environmental surveillance, based on bird and mosquito testing, was conducted in 2008 and gradually improved over the years.Methods:In February-March 2009-2011, 5,993 hibernating mosquitoes were manually sampled, out of which 80.1% were Culex pipiens; none tested positive for the viruses. From 2008 to 2011, 946,213 mosquitoes, sampled between May and October, were tested; 86.5% were Cx. pipiens. West Nile virus was detected in 32 Cx. pipiens pools, and Usutu virus was detected in 229 mosquito pools (217 Cx. pipiens, 10 Aedes albopictus, one Anopheles maculipennis s.l., and one Aedes caspius). From 2009 to 2011, of 4,546 birds collected, 42 tested positive for West Nile virus and 48 for Usutu virus. West Nile virus and Usutu virus showed different patterns of activity during the 2008-2011 surveillance period. West Nile virus was detected in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but not in 2011. Usutu virus, however, was continuously active throughout 2009, 2010, and 2011.Conclusions:The data strongly suggest that both viruses overwinter in the surveyed area rather than being continually reintroduced every season. The lack of hibernating mosquitoes testing positive for the viruses and the presence of positive birds sampled early in the season support the hypothesis that the viruses overwinter in birds rather than in mosquitoes. Herd immunity in key bird species could explain the decline of West Nile virus observed in 2011, while the persistence of Usutu virus may be explained by not yet identified reservoirs. Reported results are comparable with a peri-Mediterranean circulation of the West Nile virus lineage 1 related strain, which became undetectable in the environment after two to three years of obvious circulation. © 2013 Calzolari et al.


Calzolari M.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Della Lombardia E Dellemilia Romagna B Ubertini | Bonilauri P.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Della Lombardia E Dellemilia Romagna B Ubertini | Bellini R.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente G Nicoli Caa | Albieri A.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente G Nicoli Caa | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: In recent years human diseases due to mosquito-borne viruses were increasingly reported in Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), from the chikungunya virus in 2007 to the West Nile virus (WNV) in 2008. An extensive entomological survey was performed in 2009 to establish the presence and distribution of mosquito arboviruses in this region, with particular reference to flaviviruses. Methodology/Principal Findings: From May 6 to October 31, a total of 190,516 mosquitoes were sampled in georeferenced stations, grouped in 1,789 pools according date of collection, location, and species, and analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect the presence of RNA belong to Flavivirus genus. WNV was detected in 27 mosquito pools, producing sequences similar to those of birds and human strains obtained in 2008 outbreak, pointed out the probable virus overwintering. Isolation of WNV was achieved from one of these pools. Moreover 56 pools of mosquitoes tested positive for Usutu virus (USUV). Most PCR positive pools consisted of Culex pipiens, which also was the most analyzed mosquito species (81.4% of specimens); interestingly, USUV RNA was also found in two Aedes albopictus mosquito pools. Simultaneous circulation of WNV and USUV in the survey area was highlighted by occurrence of 8 mosquito WNV- and USUV-positive pools and by the overlaying of the viruses "hot spots", obtained by kernel density estimation (KDE) analysis. Land use of sampled stations pointed out a higher proportion of WNV-positive Cx. pipiens pool in rural environments respect the provenience of total sampled pool, while the USUV-positive pools were uniformly captured in the different environments. Conclusions/Significance: Obtained data highlighting the possible role of Cx. pipiens mosquito as the main vector for WNV and USUV in Northern Italy, and the possible involvement of Ae. albopictus mosquito in USUV cycle. The described mosquito-based surveillance could constitute the foundation for a public health alert system targeting mosquito borne arboviruses. © 2010 Calzolari et al.

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