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Genetic characterization of West Nile Virus strains during neuroinvasives infection outbreak in Tunisia, 2018

Abstract : West Nile Virus (WNV) is an arbovirus transmitted by mosquito bite involving birds as reservoirs, humans and equines as accidental hosts. Eight distinct lineages (WNV-1 to WNV-8) have been identified: WNV-1 and WNV-2 infect humans and animals, and WNV-3 to WNV-8 have been identified only in vectors. WNV has been implicated in neuroinvasives infections, especially meningitis and encephalitis. Tunisia experienced three epidemics in 1997, 2003 and 2012. Serological studies on humans, equines and birds as well as the detection of the virus in the vector favour a fairly frequent circulation in the country. A new epidemic has been observed in Tunisia between August and November 2018. The obtained sequences of the VWN from Tunisia 2018 grouped in a distinct monophyletic group within the Mediterranean subtype in Cluster 1, with a maximum of 2% nucleotide divergence. These sequences were clearly distinct from the Tunisia 1997, which grouped with sequences mainly from USA in Cluster 2. This work reports the genetic characterization of the Tunisia 2018 strain in comparison with the previously identified strains in Tunisia and worldwide. The epidemic virus Tunisia 2018 was genetically close to the Mediterranean basin and Eastern Europe sequences but distinct from the Tunisia 1997 closely related to the American sequences.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 12:36:30 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 6:27:54 PM

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Wasfi Fares, Mariem Gdoura, Haifa Dhrif, Henda Touzi, Nahed Hogga, et al.. Genetic characterization of West Nile Virus strains during neuroinvasives infection outbreak in Tunisia, 2018. Transboundary and emerging diseases, Wiley-Blackwell, 2021, 68 (4), pp.2414-2421. ⟨10.1111/tbed.13905⟩. ⟨pasteur-03545596⟩

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