Phlebotomine sandflies are known to transmit leishmaniases, bacteria and viruses that affect humans and animals in many countries worldwide. These sandfly-borne viruses are mainly the Phlebovirus, the Vesiculovirus and the Orbivirus. Some of these viruses are associated with outbreaks or human cases in the Mediterranean Europe. In this paper, the viruses transmitted by Phlebotomine sandflies in Europe (Toscana virus, Sicilian virus, sandfly fever Naples virus) are reviewed and their medical importance, geographical distribution, epidemiology and potential spreading discussed. Data on vertebrate reservoirs is sparse for sandfly fever viruses. The factor currently known to limit the spread of diseases is mainly the distribution areas of potential vectors. The distribution areas of the disease may not be restricted to the areas where they have been recorded but could be as wide as those of their vectors, that is to say Larroussius and P. papatasi mainly but not exclusively. Consequently, field work in form of viral isolation from sandflies and possible reservoirs as well as laboratory work to establish vectorial competence of colonised sandflies need to be encouraged in a near future, and epidemiological surveillance should be undertaken throughout the European Union.
[Source: EuroSurveillance, full text: View Original Article ]