Novel and emergent sandfly-borne phleboviruses in Asia Minor: a systematic review

ERGÜNAY K., Ayhan N., Charrel R. N.

REVIEWS IN MEDICAL VIROLOGY, vol.27, no.2, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/rmv.1898
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Sandfly-transmitted phleboviruses are globally spread agents causing febrile diseases and central nervous system infections. The activity of pathogenic phleboviruses, as well as several novel strains, has been reported from Turkey, a transboundary country connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa with suitable habitats for sandflies. This study overviews all published data on phleboviruses from Turkey and evaluates the impact from the virological, epidemiological, and public health perspectives. A systematic review of Web-based global and local resources was performed. Comparison and phylogenetic analyses of particular phlebovirus sequences were also undertaken. Through the evaluation of 1693 international and regional entries, 31 manuscripts providing data on case reports or outbreaks, serological surveillance, animal infections and exposure, virus characterization, vector surveillance, and/or diagnostics were accessed. Detailed information on 5 novel phleboviruses completely or partially characterized during 2008-2015 as well as on clinical and epidemiological features of major phleboviruses established as human pathogens such as Toscana virus and sandfly fever Sicilian virus has been compiled. The ongoing activity of these agents, as indicated by consistently reported symptomatic cases and confirmed exposure in vertebrates including humans, was noted. The circulation in the Anatolian peninsula of phleboviruses with surprising diversity as well as distinct virus species is documented. Specific phlebovirus strains constitute a public health threat for local populations and travelers and must be considered in the diagnostic workup of clinically compatible cases. Human health impact and epidemiological aspects of certain viruses require further investigation via intensive surveillance.