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J Med Virol. 2014 Dec;86(12):2142-5. doi: 10.1002/jmv.23949. Epub 2014 Apr 24.

Detection of West Nile virus lineage 2 in the urine of acute human infections.

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National Reference Centre for Arboviruses, Department of Microbiology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.


West Nile virus (WNV) lineage 2 emerged in Greece in 2010 and since then outbreaks in humans have been reported for four consecutive years. Laboratory diagnosis is based mainly on serology. A real-time RT-PCR was applied on urine samples obtained from 35 patients with acute WNV infection. WNV RNA was detected in 40% of the samples with cycle threshold (CT) values ranging from 26.95 to 39.89 (mean 33.11). WNV was isolated from two of four urine samples with low CT (<30). Viral load was not associated with patients' age, sex, day of illness, presence of WNV antibodies, and neurological symptoms. However, it seems that sample shipment and storage conditions are very important for virus detection and isolation. The usefulness of the WNV RNA detection in urine as a diagnostic tool of acute WNV infections is discussed.


Greece; West Nile virus; lineage 2; real-time RT-PCR; urine

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