Detection and molecular characterization of West Nile virus in Culex pipiens mosquitoes in Central Macedonia, Greece, 2019-2021

Acta Trop. 2022 Mar 7:106391. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2022.106391. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTSince 2010 when West Nile virus (WNV) emerged in Greece, it causes seasonal outbreaks of human infections almost every year. During May-October of 2019-2021 a total number of 51,504 Culex pipiens mosquitoes were trapped in all seven regional units of Central Macedonia in northern Greece. They were grouped into 1099 pools and tested for WNV. The virus was detected in 5% of the mosquito pools (1.5%, 3.6% and 9.6% pools in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively), with significant rate differences among the regional units and years. The highest maximum likelihood estimation for WNV infection rates calculated per 1000 mosquitoes for 2019 and 2020 were 1.89 and 3.84 in Serres, and 7.08 for 2021 in Pella regional unit. Sixteen whole genome sequences were taken by applying a recently described PCR-based next generation sequencing protocol. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the sequences belonged to the Central European clade of WNV lineage 2, and that a virus strain introduced in Greece in 2019 continued to circulate and spread further during 2020-2021. The data are useful for public health and mosquito control programs' operational scheduling, while the whole genome sequences are an added value for molecular epidemiology and evolutionary studies.PMID:35271813 | DOI:10.1016/j.actatropica.2022.106391
Source: Acta Tropica - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Source Type: research