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.


Reoccurrence of #botulinum #neurotoxin subtype A3 inducing food-borne #botulism, #Slovakia, 2015 (@eurosurveillanc, abstract)

[Source: Eurosurveillance, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Eurosurveillance, Volume 22, Issue 32, 10 August 2017  / Surveillance and outbreak report

Reoccurrence of botulinum neurotoxin subtype A3 inducing food-borne botulism, Slovakia, 2015

L Mad’arová 1 , BG Dorner 2 3 , L Schaade 3 , V Donáth 4 , M Avdičová 1 , M Fatkulinová 1 , J Strhársky 1 , I Sedliačiková 1 , C Klement 1 5 , MB Dorner 2 3

Author affiliations: 1. Regional Authority of Public Health Banská Bystrica, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia; 2. Robert Koch Institute, Consultant laboratory for neurotoxin-producing clostridia (botulism, tetanus), Berlin, Germany; 3. Robert Koch Institute, Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens, Berlin, Germany; 4. F. D. Roosevelt Teaching Hospital, Department of Neurology, Slovak Medical University, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia; 5. Slovak Medical University, Faculty of Public Health, Bratislava, Slovakia

Correspondence: Martin Bernhard Dorner (dornerm@rki.de)

Citation style for this article: Mad’arová L, Dorner BG, Schaade L, Donáth V, Avdičová M, Fatkulinová M, Strhársky J, Sedliačiková I, Klement C, Dorner MB. Reoccurrence of botulinum neurotoxin subtype A3 inducing food-borne botulism, Slovakia, 2015. Euro Surveill. 2017;22(32):pii=30591. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.32.30591

Received:10 June 2016; Accepted:25 November 2016



A case of food-borne botulism occurred in Slovakia in 2015. Clostridium botulinum type A was isolated from three nearly empty commercial hummus tubes. The product, which was sold in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, was withdrawn from the market and a warning was issued immediately through the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). Further investigation revealed the presence of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) subtype BoNT/A3, a very rare subtype implicated in only one previous outbreak (Loch Maree in Scotland, 1922). It is the most divergent subtype of BoNT/A with 15.4% difference at the amino acid level compared with the prototype BoNT/A1. This makes it more prone to evading immunological and PCR-based detection. It is recommended that testing laboratories are advised that this subtype has been associated with food-borne botulism for the second time since the first outbreak almost 100 years ago, and to validate their immunological or PCR-based methods against this divergent subtype.

Keywords: Clostridium Botulinum; Botulism; Slovakia.