Sandfly-Borne Phlebovirus Isolations from Turkey: New Insight into the Sandfly fever Sicilian and Sandfly fever Naples Species

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Cigdem AlkanRémi N Charrel


Many studies have presented virus sequences which suggest the existence of a variety of putative new phleboviruses transmitted by sandflies in the Old World. However, in most of these studies, only partial sequences in the polymerase or the nucleoprotein genes were characterised. Therefore to further our understand of the presence and potential medical importance of sandfly-borne phleboviruses that circulate in southern Anatolia, we initiated field campaigns in 2012 and 2013 designed to identify, isolate and characterise phleboviruses in sandflies in this region. An entomological investigation encompassing 8 villages in Adana, Mediterranean Turkey was performed in August and September 2012 and 2013. A total of 11,302 sandflies were collected and grouped into 797 pools which were tested for the presence of phleboviruses using specific primers for RT-PCR analysis and also cell culture methods for virus isolation. Seven pools were PCR positive, and viruses were isolated from three pools of sandflies, resulting in the identification of two new viruses that we named Zerdali virus and Toros virus. Phylogenetic analysis based on full-length genomic sequence showed that Zerdali virus was most closely related with Tehran virus (and belo...Continue Reading


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Insect Vectors
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Viral Genome
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