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Viral Isolates of a Novel Putative Phlebovirus in the Marche Region of Italy

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  • Unit of Viral Diseases and Attenuated Vaccines, and Unit of Vector-Borne Diseases and International Health, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Disease, and Global Health Unit, Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

Thirty pools from 900 (540 females and 360 males) Phlebotomus perfiliewi sandflies collected during the summer of 2012 in the Fermo area (Marche Region, central Italy) were tested for the presence of Phleboviruses. A nested polymerase chain reaction was performed using degenerated primers amplifying a fragment of the polymerase gene (large segment) and a fragment of the nucleoprotein gene (small segment) of the genus Phlebovirus. One pool was positive for Toscana virus, as expected from results of studies in the area, and six pools were positive for a putative novel Phlebovirus. Virus isolation in Vero cells was performed. Minimum field infection rates/1,000 insects processed for the novel and Toscana viruses were 6.7 and 1.0, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of the novel Phlebovirus, tentatively named Fermo virus, placed it in the Sandfly Fever Naples virus serocomplex.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Maria Elena Remoli, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome 00161, Italy. E-mail: mariaelena.remoli@iss.it† These authors contributed equally to this article.

Financial support: This study was supported by European Union grant FP7-261504 EDENext.

Authors' addresses: Maria Elena Remoli, Claudia Fortuna, Antonella Marchi, Paola Bucci, and Maria Grazia Ciufolini, Unit of Viral Diseases and Attenuated Vaccines, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Disease, Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, Rome, Italy, E-mails: mariaelena.remoli@iss.it, claudia.fortuna@iss.it, antonella.marchi@iss.it, paola.bucci@iss.it, and mariagrazia.ciufolini@iss.it. Claudio Argentini, Global Health Unit, Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy, E-mail: claudio.argentini@iss.it. Gioia Bongiorno, Michele Maroli, Luigi Gradoni, and Marina Gramiccia, Unit of Vector-Borne Diseases and International Health, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Disease, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy, E-mails: gioia.bongiorno@iss.it, michele.maroli@gmail.com, luigi.gradoni@iss.it, and marina.gramiccia@iss.it.

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