Low seroprevalence of sandfly fever Sicilian virus antibodies in humans, Marseille, FranceArchived

ECDC comment

A seroprevalence study was carried out in the region of Marseille (south-eastern France) to address the public health importance of sandfly fever Sicilian virus (SFSV) and SFSV-like viruses, as recently recognized vectors of those viruses are present in this area.

Bichaud L1, Piarroux RP1, Izri A2, Ninove L1, Mary C3, De Lamballerie X1, Charrel RN1.1 UMR190 (Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille 2 – IRD), Marseille2 Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, AP-HP Avicenne, Bobigny3 Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, AP-HM Timone, Marseille, FranceClinical microbiology and infection 2011 Mar 14. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2011.03509.x. [Epub ahead of print]A seroprevalence study was carried out in the region of Marseille (south-eastern France) to address the public health importance of sandfly fever Sicilian virus (SFSV) and SFSV-like viruses, as recently recognized vectors of those viruses are present in this area. The low seroprevalence rate observed in this study suggests that SFSV is not likely to be of major medical importance in the Marseille area.

VBORNET comment, 26/8/2010: Investigating the human exposure to sand fly fever Sicilian virus (SFSV) and antigenically-similar viruses in Marseille region (south-eastern France), Bichaud et al. found via immunofluroscence assay a seroprevalence rate of 1% (2/198) in residents of the area. Interestingly, this coincides with previous rates reported from France more than two decades ago. Also consistent is the observed rarity of Phlebotomus papatasi, the primary vector species for SFSV, in southern France, whereas P. perniciosus and P. ariasi occur at high levels. Another sand fly-borne virus belonging to the same family as SFSV, the Toscana virus (TOSV), is an important pathogen responsible for human aseptic meningitis and is frequently observed in France, the vectors being reported to be common in southern France. This illustrates how data on vector population reflect the presence and activity of associated infections in human population.