USUTU virus (USUV) is an arbovirus maintained in the environment through a bird-mosquito enzootic cycle. Previous surveillance plans highlighted the endemicity of USUV in North-eastern Italy. In this work, we sequenced 138 new USUV full genomes from mosquito pools (Culex pipiens) and wild birds collected in North-eastern Italy and we investigated the evolutionary processes (phylogenetic analysis, selection pressure and evolutionary time-scale analysis) and spatial spread of USUV strains circulating in the European context and in Italy, with a particular focus on North-eastern Italy. Our results confirmed the circulation of viruses belonging to four different lineages in Italy (EU1, EU2, EU3 and EU4), with the newly sequenced viruses from the North-eastern regions, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, belonging to the EU2 lineage and clustering into two different sub-lineages, EU2-A and EU2-B. Specific mutations characterize each European lineage and geographic location seem to have shaped their phylogenetic structure. By investigating the spatial spread in Europe, we were able to show that Italy acted mainly as donor of USUV to neighbouring countries. At a national level, we identified two geographical clusters mainly circulating in Northern and North-western Italy, spreading both northward and southward. Our analyses provide important information on the spatial and evolutionary dynamics of USUTU virus that can help to improve surveillance plans and control strategies for this virus of increasing concern for human health.

The central role of Italy in the spatial spread of USUTU virus in Europe

Barzon, L;Capelli, G
2021

Abstract

USUTU virus (USUV) is an arbovirus maintained in the environment through a bird-mosquito enzootic cycle. Previous surveillance plans highlighted the endemicity of USUV in North-eastern Italy. In this work, we sequenced 138 new USUV full genomes from mosquito pools (Culex pipiens) and wild birds collected in North-eastern Italy and we investigated the evolutionary processes (phylogenetic analysis, selection pressure and evolutionary time-scale analysis) and spatial spread of USUV strains circulating in the European context and in Italy, with a particular focus on North-eastern Italy. Our results confirmed the circulation of viruses belonging to four different lineages in Italy (EU1, EU2, EU3 and EU4), with the newly sequenced viruses from the North-eastern regions, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, belonging to the EU2 lineage and clustering into two different sub-lineages, EU2-A and EU2-B. Specific mutations characterize each European lineage and geographic location seem to have shaped their phylogenetic structure. By investigating the spatial spread in Europe, we were able to show that Italy acted mainly as donor of USUV to neighbouring countries. At a national level, we identified two geographical clusters mainly circulating in Northern and North-western Italy, spreading both northward and southward. Our analyses provide important information on the spatial and evolutionary dynamics of USUTU virus that can help to improve surveillance plans and control strategies for this virus of increasing concern for human health.
2021
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
veab048-1.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Published (publisher's version)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 3.95 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.95 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3400244
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 11
  • Scopus 12
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact