A #Serosurvey of #Flavivirus #Infection in #Horses and #Birds in #Slovakia (Vector Borne Zoo Dis., abstract)

[Source: Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases

A Serosurvey of Flavivirus Infection in Horses and Birds in Slovakia

To cite this article: Csank Tomáš, Drzewnioková Petra, Korytár Ľuboš, Major Peter, Gyuranecz Miklós, Pistl Juraj, and Bakonyi Tamás. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. February 2018, ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2017.2216

Online Ahead of Print: February 13, 2018

Author information: Tomáš Csank,1 Petra Drzewnioková,1 Ľuboš Korytár,2 Peter Major,3 Miklós Gyuranecz,4 Juraj Pistl,1 and Tamás Bakonyi5,6

1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy (UVMP) in Košice, Košice, Slovakia. 2 Department of Environment, Veterinary Legislation and Economy, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy (UVMP) in Košice, Košice, Slovakia. 3 Department of Clinic for Birds and Exotic Animals, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy (UVMP) in Košice, Košice, Slovakia. 4 Institute for Veterinary Medical Research, MTA Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary. 5 Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary. 6 Viral Zoonoses, Emerging and Vector-Borne Infections Group, Institute of Virology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Address correspondence to: Tomáš Csank, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy (UVMP) in Košice, Komenského 73, Košice 04181, Slovakia, E-mail: tomas.csank@uvlf.sk



In central Europe, at least three flaviviruses circulate among vectors and vertebrate hosts. West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) are mosquito-borne viruses maintained in the nature by enzootic cycle between mosquitoes and birds. Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a flavivirus causing annual human cases in Slovakia. The aim of this study is the prevalence assessment of flavivirus infections in horses (n = 145) and birds (n = 109) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and confirmation by neutralization test (VNT). WNV antibodies have been detected in 11.7% of tested horses and 11.9% of tested birds and confirmed in 6.9% of horse and 9.2% of bird samples. None of the WNV seropositive or dubious horses had WNV IgM (ELISA), and none of the tested horses had USUV neutralizing antibodies. Autochthonous WNV infections have been confirmed in 16.7% of horses without international travelling history. Most of them were from western Slovakia with known endemic WNV transmission. An autochthonous WNV infection in a horse from highland area of Kremnické vrchy (central Slovakia) with unknown data of WNV circulation and without travelling history was detected. TBEV antibody was detected in 6.2% of horses and in 3.4% has been confirmed. In two horses, WNV and TBEV infection could not be distinguished. Confirmed WNV seropositive were eight raptors showing nonspecific signs or suffering from trauma, one white stork, and one house sparrow. The sparrow was caught in a locality in eastern Slovakia, where WNV RNA had been previously detected in sparrows. USUV neutralizing antibodies were present in pooled sample from four Eurasian great tits. Because of insufficient volume, TBEV VNT was not carried out in birds. Results further prove the endemicity of WNV and other vector-borne flaviviruses in natural and accidental hosts in Slovakia, giving better insight in flavivirus epidemiology in European countries in general.

Keywords: Slovakia; Flavivirus; WNV; Usutu Virus; TBEV; Horses; Wild birds.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.