The Prevalence of Antibodies against Sandfly Fever Viruses and West Nile Virus in Cyprus

  • Gaetan Billioud Department of Molecular Virology, Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Christina Tryfonos Department of Molecular Virology, Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Jan Richter Department of Molecular Virology, Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus
Keywords: Phleboviruses, West-Nile virus, Cyprus, Seroprevalence


Background: Sandfly fever is an incapacitating disease caused by sandfly-borne Phleboviruses that can lead to men­ingitis, encephalitis or meningoencephalitis. West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne Flavivirus, can induce neu­roinvasive disease manifested by meningitis, encephalitis or acute flaccid paralysis. Both vectors are endemic in Cy­prus and very active during summer. The aims of this study were to determine first the prevalence of sandfly fever viruses (SFV) and WNV infections in Cyprus and second, to investigate their role in central nervous system (CNS) infections.Methods: For the prevalence study, 327 sera collected in 2013 and 2014 were tested for anti-SFV and anti-WNV IgG using indirect immunofluorescence assay and ELISA, respectively. In order to investigate a possible role of SFV and WNV in CNS infections, 127 sera of patients presenting symptoms of SFV or WNV infections were screened for IgM specific to SFV and WNV.Results: The overall anti-SFV IgG seroprevalence was 28% and was increasing with age (P< 0.01). The seropreva­lence rate for anti-WNV IgG in Cyprus was 5%. Concerning the role of SFVs in CNS infections, anti-SFV IgM was detected in 8 out of 127 sera from selected patients presenting relevant symptoms of infections during vector’s active period. In addition, anti-WNV IgM were detected in 17 out of the 127 patients with compatible symptoms.Conclusion: The findings confirm the presence of sandfly fever and WNV in Cyprus and should, therefore, be con­sidered in the differential diagnosis of patients with febrile illness/meningitis.


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How to Cite
Billioud G, Tryfonos C, Richter J. The Prevalence of Antibodies against Sandfly Fever Viruses and West Nile Virus in Cyprus. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 13(1):116.
Original Article