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J Gen Virol. 2013 Jun;94(Pt 6):1242-8. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.051359-0. Epub 2013 Mar 20.

Isolation and full genomic characterization of Batai virus from mosquitoes, Italy 2009.

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Department of Virology, Haartman Institute, Faculty of Medicine, PO Box 21, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


In 2009, 2589 mosquitoes were collected in northwest Italy and screened for orthobunyavirus RNA by RT-PCR. One pool of Anopheles maculipennis complex mosquitoes was found to be positive and a virus was isolated from that pool. The isolate was identified as Batai virus (BATV) by sequencing. Previously, BATV was detected in Italy, but limited data and no prior isolates existed. Full-length sequences of the S, M and L segments were determined for the newly isolated Italian strain. For comparison, partial sequences were also determined for the BATV strain Calovo (former Czechoslovakia, 1960). Phylogenetic analyses revealed clustering of the newly derived Italian BATV along with a recent isolate from Germany and the historic strain Calovo. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the first isolation of BATV from Italy, which confirms a broader geographical distribution of BATV in Europe than was previously verified by isolation.

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