Widespread activity of multiple lineages of Usutu virus, western Europe, 2016

Daniel Cadar, Renke Lühken, Henk van der Jeugd, Mutien Garigliany, Ute Ziegler, Markus Keller, Jennifer Lahoreau, Lars Lachmann, Norbert Becker, Marja Kik, Bas B Oude Munnink, Stefan Bosch, Egbert Tannich, Annick Linden, Volker Schmidt, Marion P Koopmans, Jolianne Rijks, Daniel Desmecht, Martin H Groschup, Chantal Reusken (Corresponding author)Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In the summer of 2016, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands reported widespread Usutu virus (USUV) activity based on live and dead bird surveillance. The causative USUV strains represented four lineages, of which two putative novel lineages were most likely recently introduced into Germany and spread to other western European countries. The spatial extent of the outbreak area corresponded with R0 values > 1. The occurrence of the outbreak, the largest USUV epizootic registered so far in Europe, allowed us to gain insight in how a recently introduced arbovirus with potential public health implications can spread and become a resident pathogen in a naïve environment. Understanding the ecological and epidemiological factors that drive the emergence or re-emergence of USUV is critical to develop and implement timely surveillance strategies for adequate preventive and control measures. Public health authorities, blood transfusion services and clinicians in countries where USUV was detected should be aware of the risk of possible USUV infection in humans, including in patients with unexplained encephalitis or other neurological impairments, especially during late summer when mosquito densities peak.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30452
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2017


  • Journal Article
  • international

Research theme

  • Disease ecology


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