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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2011 May;11(5):583-7. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2010.0065. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Serosurvey study of Toscana virus in domestic animals, Granada, Spain.

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Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain.


Toscana virus (TOSV) is transmitted by infected sandflies. In Mediterranean countries, TOSV is one of the major viral pathogens involved in aseptic meningitis and meningoencephalitis in humans. It remains unclear if there are animal reservoirs able to maintain the virus through the cold months of the year, when the vector is not circulating. From May to October of 2006 and 2007, we conducted a serosurvey study on domestic animals from Granada province (southern Spain). TOSV was investigated in 1186 serum samples from horses, goats, pigs, cats, dogs, sheep, and cows by serology (indirect fluorescence assay), viral culture, and RT-polymerase chain reaction. Specific anti-TOSV antibodies were detected in 429 (36.2%) serum samples. The highest seropositivity rates were observed in cats (59.6%) and dogs (48.3%). These results suggest that an important percentage of the domestic animals have been infected by TOSV. Significantly different seroprevalence rates were detected in goats among distinct geographical areas. All viral cultures were negative. TOSV was detected by RT-polymerase chain reaction in only one serum sample from a goat. Thus, the studied animals do not seem to act as reservoirs for TOSV; otherwise, they could be amplifying hosts for the virus.

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