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Open AccessOpinion

Broader Geographical Distribution of Toscana Virus in the Mediterranean Region Suggests the Existence of Larger Varieties of Sand Fly Vectors

1
Unité des Virus Emergents (Aix-Marseille Univ–IRD 190–Inserm 1207–IHU Méditerranée Infection), 13005 Marseille, France
2
Unité de Virologie EA7310 Bioscope, Université de Corse Pasquale Paoli (UCPP), 20250 Corte, France
3
UMR MIVEGEC (IRD—CNRS—Université de Montpellier), 911 avenue Agropolis, F34394 Montpellier, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the work.
These authors contributed equally to the work.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(1), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8010114
Received: 12 December 2019 / Revised: 6 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector Borne Infections: A Novel Threat for Global Health)
Toscana virus (TOSV) is endemic in the Mediterranean basin, where it is transmitted by sand flies. TOSV can infect humans and cause febrile illness as well as neuroinvasive infections affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems. Although TOSV is a significant human pathogen, it remains neglected and there are consequently many gaps of knowledge. Recent seroepidemiology studies and case reports showed that TOSV’s geographic distribution is much wider than was assumed a decade ago. The apparent extension of the TOSV circulation area raises the question of the sandfly species that are able to transmit the virus in natural conditions. Phlebotomus (Ph.) perniciosus and Ph. perfiliewi were historically identified as competent species. Recent results suggest that other species of sand flies could be competent for TOSV maintenance and transmission. Here we organize current knowledge in entomology, epidemiology, and virology supporting the possible existence of additional phlebotomine species such as Ph. longicuspis, Ph. sergenti, Ph. tobbi, Ph. neglectus, and Sergentomyia minuta in TOSV maintenance. We also highlight some of the knowledge gaps to be addressed in future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Toscana virus; sand fly; Phlebotomus; Sergentomyia; Mediterranean area; Phenuiviridae; Bunyavirales; Sandfly fever Naples phlebovirus; arbovirus; arthropod-borne; sandfly; phlebotomine Toscana virus; sand fly; Phlebotomus; Sergentomyia; Mediterranean area; Phenuiviridae; Bunyavirales; Sandfly fever Naples phlebovirus; arbovirus; arthropod-borne; sandfly; phlebotomine
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Ayhan, N.; Prudhomme, J.; Laroche, L.; Bañuls, A.-L.; Charrel, R.N. Broader Geographical Distribution of Toscana Virus in the Mediterranean Region Suggests the Existence of Larger Varieties of Sand Fly Vectors. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 114.

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