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See detailSchmallenberg virus, cyclical reemergence in the core region: a seroepidemiologic study in wild cervids, Belgium, 2012-2017.
Bayrou, Calixte ULiege; Lesenfants, Christophe ULiege; Paternostre, Julien et al

in Transboundary and emerging diseases (2021)

Schmallenberg virus emerged in 2011 in Europe. The epicenter of primordial spreading was the region straddling Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. One of the key questions is whether the newcomer would ... [more ▼]

Schmallenberg virus emerged in 2011 in Europe. The epicenter of primordial spreading was the region straddling Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. One of the key questions is whether the newcomer would establish a lasting presence on the continent. The apparent seroprevalence in southern Belgium wild deer populations was followed for 6 years. Two years of intense circulation were revealed, 2012 and 2016, characterized by a peak seroprevalence in the two studied populations (Capreolus capreolus and Cervus elaphus). Between the peak years and after 2016, apparent seroprevalences declined rapidly among adults and became nil among juveniles. The general pattern of apparent seroprevalence evolution observed is consistent with a cyclic circulation of Schmallenberg virus, similar to what is observed for other Orthobunyaviruses in endemic areas. These data also suggest that wild cervids play no central role in the circulation dynamics of the virus. [less ▲]

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See detailSARS-COV-2 Natural Transmission from Human to Cat, Belgium, March 2020
Garigliany, Mutien-Marie ULiege; Van Laere, Anne-Sophie ULiege; Clercx, Cécile ULiege et al

in Emerging Infectious Diseases (2020), 26(12), 3069-3071

In March 2020, a severe respiratory syndrome developed in a cat, 1 week after its owner received positive test results for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Viral RNA was detected in the ... [more ▼]

In March 2020, a severe respiratory syndrome developed in a cat, 1 week after its owner received positive test results for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Viral RNA was detected in the cat’s nasopharyngeal swab samples and vomitus or feces; immunoglobulin against the virus was found in convalescent-phase serum. Human-to-cat transmission is suspected. [less ▲]

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See detailAnti-Schmallenberg virus activities of type I/III interferons-induced Mx1 GTPases from different mammalian species
Bayrou, Calixte ULiege; Van Laere, Anne-Sophie ULiege; Dam Van, Phai et al

Conference (2020, September 29)

• Objectives Type I/ III interferons provide powerful and universal innate intracellular defense mechanisms against viruses. Among the antiviral effectors induced, Mx proteins of some species appear as ... [more ▼]

• Objectives Type I/ III interferons provide powerful and universal innate intracellular defense mechanisms against viruses. Among the antiviral effectors induced, Mx proteins of some species appear as key components of antiviral defense. The most studied isoform, the human MxA protein, is known as the “Swiss army knife” of the antiviral response due to its ability to inhibit the cellular amplification of numerous viruses belonging to, at least, 12 different families. The bovine counterpart (the bovine Mx1 protein, BoMx1) has been shown to impair the amplification of 5 different viral family members. The Schmallenberg virus (SBV) belongs to the family Peribunyaviridae and was described for the first time in 2011. After having emerged in Northern Europe, it rapidly spread across the continent causing limited or no symptoms in adult ruminants but severe malformations in a small proportion of in utero infected fetuses. The objective of this study was to look for a cause of the ruminant sensitivity to the SBV infection in comparison to other mammal species. The question was: could the ruminant sensitivity be linked to a lack of antiviral Mx1 activity against the SBV? To answer this question, four different Mx1 isoforms originated from different mammals were studied in vitro. • Materials and methods The study was conducted in cell culture-based conditions. A lipid complex (Lipofectamine® 3000 Transfection reagent kit) transfection model was used to transiently express the Mx1 protein of four different species (the bovine, canine, equine and porcine isoforms) and compare their antiviral activities. After the transfected cells being infected with the SBV, the amount of Mx1 protein and nucleoprotein (NP) of the virus was measured using the fluorescent-activated cell sorting (FACS) technology. Human embryonic kidney cells (HEK-293T) were transfected with expression plasmids designed to express the different Mx1 isoforms tagged with the V5 epitope which was flanked on the N-terminal extremity of each Mx1 protein. The presence of the V5 epitope allowed an absolute standardization of the detection of the different V5-Mx1 isoforms. After a 24h incubation post-transfection, the cells were infected with the SBV (SBV-BH80/11-4) and cell fixation was realized after 5 hours of viral amplification. The immunolabelling was achieved using, on the one hand, a phycoerythrin (PE) conjugated monoclonal antibody targeting the V5 epitope allowing the Mx1 protein detection, and, on the other hand, a primary mouse monoclonal antibody targeting the SBV nucleoprotein associated with a goat anti-mouse IgG polyclonal antibody conjugated to the fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) fluorochrome. The results expressed the mean intensity of 3 independent assay (one assay comprising 3 wells for each condition and 100,000 cells analyzed per well). The statistical analysis was performed by analysis of variance (ANOVA). • Results All the tested Mx1 protein isoforms showed an antiviral effect. Indeed, in a same well, the percentage of NP expressing cells was significantly lower in the V5-Mx1 positive population than in the V5-Mx1 negative population. Among the different Mx isoforms, the antiviral effect of the canine Mx1 protein was significantly less pronounced. In the conditions of this experiment a clear dose-dependent effect was seen: an increase in the Mx1-associated fluorescence intensity was correlated with a reduction of the number of NP positive cells until an almost complete absence of the NP signal in the cells with the highest Mx fluorescence values. • Conclusions The bovine species sensitivity to the SBV infection is not linked to a lack of antiviral activity of the bovine Mx1 protein against the virus. The experiment corroborates the results showing that the Mx1 proteins have been selected during evolution to efficiently inhibits the amplification of a large diversity of viruses including the Peribunyaviridae family. The dose-dependent effect we herein described could reflect an unknown specific mechanism of the SBV inhibition by the Mx1 protein. [less ▲]

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See detailA gammaherpesvirus licenses CD8 T cells to protect the host from pneumovirus-induced immunopathologies.
Dourcy, Mickael ULiege; Maquet, Céline ULiege; Dams, Lorène ULiege et al

in Mucosal Immunology (2020)

Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a pneumovirus that causes severe infections in infants worldwide. Despite intensive research, safe and effective vaccines against RSV have remained elusive. The ... [more ▼]

Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a pneumovirus that causes severe infections in infants worldwide. Despite intensive research, safe and effective vaccines against RSV have remained elusive. The main reason is that RSV infection of children previously immunized with formalin-inactivated-RSV vaccines has been associated with exacerbated pathology, a phenomenon called RSV vaccine-enhanced respiratory disease. In parallel, despite the high RSV prevalence, only a minor proportion of children develop severe diseases. Interestingly, variation in the immune responses against RSV or following RSV vaccination could be linked with differences of exposure to microbes during childhood. Gammaherpesviruses (γHVs), such as the Epstein–Barr virus, are persistent viruses that deeply influence the immune system of their host and could therefore affect the development of pneumovirus-induced immunopathologies for the long term. Here, we showed that a previous ɣHV infection protects against both pneumovirus vaccine-enhanced disease and pneumovirus primary infection and that CD8 T cells are essential for this protection. These observations shed a new light on the understanding of pneumovirus-induced diseases and open new perspectives for the development of vaccine strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailUnravelling the dispersal dynamics and ecological drivers of the African swine fever outbreak in Belgium
Dellicour, Simon; Desmecht, Daniel ULiege; Paternostre, Julien ULiege et al

in Journal of Applied Ecology (2020)

African swine fever is a devastating disease of domestic pigs and wild boars caused by African swine fever virus (ASFV). ASFV originates from sub-Saharan African countries. In the last 10 years, the virus ... [more ▼]

African swine fever is a devastating disease of domestic pigs and wild boars caused by African swine fever virus (ASFV). ASFV originates from sub-Saharan African countries. In the last 10 years, the virus left its endemic range to spread to eastern Europe and Russia. On September 2018, Belgian authorities reported that ASFV had been detected in two wild boars in a southern area of the country. One year later, no domestic pig has been infected, with the last ASFV-positive wild boar being confirmed in mid-August 2019, suggesting that the outbreak is now controlled. However, the dispersal dynamics as well as the specific impact of ecological factors and intervention measures on the outbreak remain unknown. [less ▲]

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See detailUsutu Virus Epizootic in Belgium in 2017 and 2018: Evidence of Virus Endemization and Ongoing Introduction Events.
Benzarti, Emna ULiege; Sarlet, Michaël ULiege; Franssen, Mathieu ULiege et al

in Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (2020)

Wildlife surveillance allowed the monitoring of the zoonotic mosquito-borne Usutu virus (USUV) in birds and bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in southern Belgium in 2017 and 2018. USUV-RNA was detected in ... [more ▼]

Wildlife surveillance allowed the monitoring of the zoonotic mosquito-borne Usutu virus (USUV) in birds and bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in southern Belgium in 2017 and 2018. USUV-RNA was detected in 69 birds (of 253) from 15 species, among which 7 species had not previously been reported to be susceptible to the infection. Similarly, 2 bats (of 10) were detected positive by reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). USUV-associated lesions were mainly found in Eurasian Blackbirds (Turdus merula), in which USUV antigens were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in the brain, heart, liver, kidney, intestine, and lung. Partial nonstructural protein 5 gene-based phylogenetic analysis showed several identical or closely related strains from 2016, 2017, and 2018 clustering together within Europe 3 or Africa 3 lineages. Further, one USUV strain detected in a common chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) manifested a close genetic relationship with the European 1 strains circulating in Hungary and Austria. Our data provide evidence of USUV endemization in southern Belgium in local birds and bats, extension of the host range of the virus and ongoing virus introduction from abroad, likely by migratory birds. Our results highlight the need for vigilance in the forthcoming years toward new virus-associated outbreaks in birds and possible human infections in Belgium. [less ▲]

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See detailExperimental Usutu Virus Infection in Domestic Canaries Serinus canaria.
Benzarti, Emna ULiege; Rivas Troncoso, José Felipe Antonio ULiege; Sarlet, Michaël ULiege et al

in Viruses (2020), 12(2),

Usutu virus (USUV) is a neurotropic flavivirus closely related to West Nile virus (WNV). Its enzootic cycle mainly involves mosquitoes and birds. Human infection can occur with occasional, but sometimes ... [more ▼]

Usutu virus (USUV) is a neurotropic flavivirus closely related to West Nile virus (WNV). Its enzootic cycle mainly involves mosquitoes and birds. Human infection can occur with occasional, but sometimes severe, neurological complications. Since its emergence and spread in Europe over the last two decades, USUV has been linked to significant avian outbreaks, especially among Passeriformes, including European blackbirds (Turdus merula). Strikingly, no in vivo avian model exists so far to study this arbovirus. The domestic canary (Serinus canaria) is a passerine, which is considered as a highly susceptible model of infection by WNV. Here, we experimentally challenged domestic canaries with two different doses of USUV. All inoculated birds presented detectable amounts of viral RNA in the blood and RNA shedding via feathers and droppings during the early stages of the infection, as determined by RT-qPCR. Mortality occurred in both infected groups (1/5 and 2/5, respectively) and was not necessarily correlated to a pure neurological disease. Subsequent analyses of samples from dead birds showed histopathological changes and virus tropism mimicking those reported in naturally infected birds. A robust seroconversion followed the infection in almost all the surviving canaries. Altogether, these results demonstrate that domestic canaries constitute an interesting experimental model for the study of USUV pathogenesis and transmission. [less ▲]

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See detailUsutu Virus Infection of Embryonated Chicken Eggs and a Chicken Embryo-Derived Primary Cell Line.
Benzarti, Emna ULiege; Rivas Troncoso, José Felipe Antonio ULiege; Sarlet, Michaël ULiege et al

in Viruses (2020), 12(5),

Usutu virus (USUV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, closely related to the West Nile virus (WNV). Similar to WNV, USUV may cause infections in humans, with occasional, but sometimes severe, neurological ... [more ▼]

Usutu virus (USUV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, closely related to the West Nile virus (WNV). Similar to WNV, USUV may cause infections in humans, with occasional, but sometimes severe, neurological complications. Further, USUV can be highly pathogenic in wild and captive birds and its circulation in Europe has given rise to substantial avian death. Adequate study models of this virus are still lacking but are critically needed to understand its pathogenesis and virulence spectrum. The chicken embryo is a low-cost, easy-to-manipulate and ethically acceptable model that closely reflects mammalian fetal development and allows immune response investigations, drug screening, and high-throughput virus production for vaccine development. While former studies suggested that this model was refractory to USUV infection, we unexpectedly found that high doses of four phylogenetically distinct USUV strains caused embryonic lethality. By employing immunohistochemistry and quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, we demonstrated that USUV was widely distributed in embryonic tissues, including the brain, retina, and feather follicles. We then successfully developed a primary cell line from the chorioallantoic membrane that was permissive to the virus without the need for viral adaptation. We believe the future use of these models would foster a significant understanding of USUV-induced neuropathogenesis and immune response and allow the future development of drugs and vaccines against USUV. [less ▲]

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See detailNatural transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated disease from human to pet cat (Felis silvestris catus), Belgium, March 2020
Garigliany, Mutien-Marie ULiege; Van Laere, Anne-Sophie ULiege; Clercx, Cécile ULiege et al

in Emerging Infectious Diseases (2020)

In early March 2020, a household cat suddenly developed a severe respiratory syndrome one week after its owner tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The viral RNA was detected in the nasopharyngeal ... [more ▼]

In early March 2020, a household cat suddenly developed a severe respiratory syndrome one week after its owner tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The viral RNA was detected in the nasopharyngeal swabs, vomit or feces and convalescent serum collected 3 weeks after the onset of symptoms contained anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulins. [less ▲]

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See detailEpidemiological analyses of African swine fever in the European Union (November 2018 to October 2019)
Miteva, Aleksandra; Papanikolaou, Alexandra; Gogin, Andrey et al

in EFSA Journal (2020), 18(1), 5996

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See detailNew Insights into the Susceptibility of Immunocompetent Mice to Usutu Virus.
Benzarti, Emna ULiege; Sarlet, Michaël ULiege; Franssen, Mathieu ULiege et al

in Viruses (2020), 12(2),

Usutu virus (USUV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that shares many similarities with the closely related West Nile virus (WNV) in terms of ecology and clinical manifestations. Initially distributed in ... [more ▼]

Usutu virus (USUV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that shares many similarities with the closely related West Nile virus (WNV) in terms of ecology and clinical manifestations. Initially distributed in Africa, USUV emerged in Italy in 1996 and managed to co-circulate with WNV in many European countries in a similar mosquito-bird life cycle. The rapid geographic spread of USUV, the seasonal mass mortalities it causes in the European avifauna, and the increasing number of infections with neurological disease both in healthy and immunocompromised humans has stimulated interest in infection studies to delineate USUV pathogenesis. Here, we assessed the pathogenicity of two USUV isolates from a recent Belgian outbreak in immunocompetent mice. The intradermal injection of USUV gave rise to disorientation and paraplegia and was associated with neuronal death in the brain and spinal cord in a single mouse. Intranasal inoculation of USUV could also establish the infection; viral RNA was detected in the brain 15 days post-infection. Overall, this pilot study probes the suitability of this murine model for the study of USUV neuroinvasiveness and the possibility of direct transmission in mammals. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection and eradication of Helicobacter spp. infection in laboratory mouse colony
Djabirska, Iskra ULiege; Desmecht, Daniel ULiege; Van Laere, Anne-Sophie ULiege

Poster (2019, November 08)

Endemic infection with Helicobacter spp. is frequently detected in research mice colonies. So far, several species have been isolated including H. hepaticus, H. bilis, H. muridarum, H. typhlonicus and H ... [more ▼]

Endemic infection with Helicobacter spp. is frequently detected in research mice colonies. So far, several species have been isolated including H. hepaticus, H. bilis, H. muridarum, H. typhlonicus and H. rodentium as the most prevalent ones. The transmission of this pathogen is through fecal-oral route, followed by persistent long-term shedding in infected individuals. In immunocompetent mice the infection is subclinical, however, emerging evidence show that it can have significant health implications leading to typhlocolitis, intestinal and hepatic tumors and mammary gland neoplasia. Moreover, the infection alters reproduction successes with increase in fetal resorptions, decline in neonatal weight and decreased number of weaned pups detected in both experimentally and naturally infected mice. In addition to the impact on animal health and welfare, the infection might have confounding effects on obtained research results; therefore, regular screening and eradication are key for obtaining a pathogen free colony. In order to eliminate a naturally acquired Helicobacter infection in our animal facility, we have attempted an eight-week long treatment protocol with amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole and bismuth, administered in drinking water. This treatment route is more economical, time-efficient and noninvasive compared to other alternatives for eradication such as treatment with medicated diet, oral gavage or cross fostering. To determine the results of the administrated therapy we have performed qPCR of DNA extracted from fecal pellets. [less ▲]

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See detailNewly emerged African swine fever virus strain Belgium/Etalle/wb/2018: Complete genomic sequence and comparative analysis with reference p72 genotype II strains
Gilliaux, Gautier ULiege; Garigliany, Mutien-Marie ULiege; Licoppe, Alain ULiege et al

in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (2019), 66(6), 2566-2591

In a new example of pathogens hopscotching the globe, African swine fever virus hit north‐western Europe's wildlife in summer 2018, marking a further spread of a disease that had invaded Central and ... [more ▼]

In a new example of pathogens hopscotching the globe, African swine fever virus hit north‐western Europe's wildlife in summer 2018, marking a further spread of a disease that had invaded Central and Eastern Europe recently. The complete genomic sequence of the Belgium/Etalle/wb/2018 virus is reported, with the hope it will provide a valuable tool for tracing geographical spread and biologic evolution of the virus. [less ▲]

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See detailAnti-Influenza A Virus Activities of Type I/III Interferons-Induced Mx1 GTPases from Different Mammalian Species
Dam Van Phai, ULiege; Desmecht, Daniel ULiege; Garigliany, Mutien-Marie ULiege et al

in Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research (2019), 39(5), 274-282

Type I/III interferons provide powerful and universal innate intracellular defense mechanisms against viruses. Among the antiviral effectors induced, Mx proteins of some species appear as key components ... [more ▼]

Type I/III interferons provide powerful and universal innate intracellular defense mechanisms against viruses. Among the antiviral effectors induced, Mx proteins of some species appear as key components of defense against influenza A viruses. It is expected that such an antiviral protein must display a platform dedicated to the recognition of said viruses. In an attempt to identify such platform in human MxA, an evolution-guided approach capitalizing on the antagonistic arms race between MxA and its viral targets and the genomic signature it left on primate genomes revealed that the surface-exposed so-called "loop L4", which protrudes from the compact structure of the MxA stalk, is a hotspot of recurrent positive selection. Since MxA is archetypic of Mx1 proteins in general, we reasoned that the L4 loop also functions as a recognition platform for influenza viruses in the Mx1 proteins of other species that had been exposed to the virus for ever. In this study, the anti-influenza activity of 5 distinct mammalian Mx1 proteins was measured by comparing the number of viral nucleoprotein-positive cells 7 h after infection in a sample of 100,000 cells expected to contain both Mx1-positive and Mx1-negative cell subpopulations. The systematic depletion (P < 0.001) of virus nucleoprotein-positive cells among equine, bubaline, porcine, and bovine Mx1-expressing cell populations compared with Mx-negative cells suggests a strong anti-influenza A activity. Looking for common anti-influenza signature elements in the sequence of these Mx proteins, we found that an aromatic residue at positions 561 or 562 in the L4 loop seems critical for the anti-influenza function and/or specificity of mammalian Mx1. [less ▲]

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See detailHost-dependence of in vitro reassortment dynamics among the Sathuperi and Shamonda Simbuviruses.
Coupeau, Damien; Bayrou, Calixte ULiege; Baillieux, Pierre et al

in Emerging Microbes and Infections (2019), 8(1), 381-395

Orthobunyaviruses are arboviruses (Arthropod Borne Virus) and possess multipartite genomes made up of three negative RNAs corresponding to the small (S), medium (M) and large (L) segments. Reassortment ... [more ▼]

Orthobunyaviruses are arboviruses (Arthropod Borne Virus) and possess multipartite genomes made up of three negative RNAs corresponding to the small (S), medium (M) and large (L) segments. Reassortment and recombination are evolutionary driving forces of such segmented viruses and lead to the emergence of new strains and species. Retrospective studies based on phylogenetical analysis are able to evaluate these mechanisms at the end of the selection process but fail to address the dynamics of emergence. This issue was addressed using two Orthobunyaviruses infecting ruminants and belonging to the Simbu serogroup: the Sathuperi virus (SATV) and the Shamonda virus (SHAV). Both viruses were associated with abortion, stillbirth and congenital malformations occurring after transplacental transmission and were suspected to spread together in different ruminant and insect populations. This study showed that different viruses related to SHAV and SATV are spreading simultaneously in ruminants and equids of the Sub-Saharan region. Their reassortment and recombination potential was evaluated in mammalian and in insect contexts. A method was set up to determine the genomic background of any clonal progeny viruses isolated after in vitro coinfections assays. All the reassortment combinations were generated in both contexts while no recombinant virus was isolated. Progeny virus populations revealed a high level of reassortment in mammalian cells and a much lower level in insect cells. In vitro selection pressure that mimicked the host switching (insect-mammal) revealed that the best adapted reassortant virus was connected with an advantageous replicative fitness and with the presence of a specific segment. [less ▲]

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See detailA novel parvovirus, Roe deer copiparvovirus, identified in Ixodes ricinus ticks.
Linden, Annick ULiege; Gilliaux, Gautier ULiege; Paternostre, Julien ULiege et al

in Virus Genes (2019)

The family Parvoviridae contains diverse viruses that are capable of infecting a wide range of hosts. In this study, metagenomic sequencing of Ixodes ricinus ticks harvested in 2016 on red deer (Cervus ... [more ▼]

The family Parvoviridae contains diverse viruses that are capable of infecting a wide range of hosts. In this study, metagenomic sequencing of Ixodes ricinus ticks harvested in 2016 on red deer (Cervus elaphus) and European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in Belgium detected a new 6296-bp parvoviral genome. Phylogenetic and sequence analyses showed the new virus belongs to a new species within the Copiparvovirus genus. PCR screening of 4 pools of 10 serum samples from both deer species identified the new copiparvovirus DNA only in roe deer sera. Together, these results are the first evidence of a copiparvovirus in a deer species. Besides its potential pathogenicity to roe deers, the detection of this new virus in ticks raises questions about the possible transmission of parvoviruses by ticks. This report further increases the current knowledge on the evolution and diversity of copiparvoviruses. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst Evidence of Fatal Usutu Virus Natural Infections in an Anatidae, the Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra).
Benzarti, Emna ULiege; Garigliany, Mutien-Marie ULiege; Hauman, Dany et al

in Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) (2019)

While fatal infections caused by the Usutu virus appeared to concern only passerines (especially the blackbird) and Strigiformes (especially the great gray owl), we report herein that the virus also ... [more ▼]

While fatal infections caused by the Usutu virus appeared to concern only passerines (especially the blackbird) and Strigiformes (especially the great gray owl), we report herein that the virus also naturally causes a fatal disease in an anseriforme species, the common scoter (Melanitta nigra). [less ▲]

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See detailPhylogeographic Analysis of African Swine Fever Virus, Western Europe, 2018.
Garigliany, Mutien-Marie ULiege; Desmecht, Daniel ULiege; Tignon, Marylene et al

in Emerging Infectious Diseases (2019), 25(1),

In September 2018, African swine fever in wild boars was detected in Belgium. We used African swine fever-infected spleen samples to perform a phylogenetic analysis of the virus. The causative strain ... [more ▼]

In September 2018, African swine fever in wild boars was detected in Belgium. We used African swine fever-infected spleen samples to perform a phylogenetic analysis of the virus. The causative strain belongs to genotype II, and its closest relatives are viruses previously isolated in Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, and European Russia. [less ▲]

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