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West Nile virus circulation in Veneto region in 2008–2009

  • L. BUSANI (a1), G. CAPELLI (a2), M. CECCHINATO (a2) (a3), M. LORENZETTO (a4), G. SAVINI (a5), C. TERREGINO (a2), P. VIO (a6), L. BONFANTI (a2), M. DALLA POZZA (a4) and S. MARANGON (a2)...

West Nile virus (WNV) was detected in Italy, in late summer 2008 in horses and birds in the Po valley. As a consequence, an intense WNV surveillance was implemented in that area involving Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Lombardy. This paper presents the results of the September 2008–November 2009 surveillance on equines, mosquitoes, wild birds, dogs and cattle in Veneto. WNV was detected in equines and dogs, and, to a lesser extent in cattle and wild birds. Simultaneous circulation of Usutu virus was detected by testing wild birds found dead. Usutu virus but not WNV was also found in mosquitoes monitored during 2009. Equine practices monitoring allowed the definition of an area of WNV circulation and the 2008–2009 westward and northward spread of the infection. Although a relatively low number of human cases and a low virus circulation in vectors and birds detected in Veneto region could be considered favourable conditions for a limited risk of human exposure, it remains difficult to predict the possible evolution of the epidemiological situation.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr L. Busani, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Department of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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