Sandfly fever viruses in Italy

  • L. Nicoletti
  • M. G. Ciufolini
  • P. Verani
Conference paper
Part of the Archives of Virology Supplement II book series (ARCHIVES SUPPL, volume 11)


Two serologically distinct agents, the sandfly fever Sicilian and the sandfly fever Naples viruses, were isolated by Sabin from blood samples taken during an Italian epidemic of febrile illness. Since then, several different viruses have been isolated from sandflies and/or humans in both the Old and New World. Toscana virus, a new virus closely antigenically related to sandfly fever Naples virus, was isolated in 1971 from the sandfly Phlebotomus perniciosus in Italy. Extensive studies on the importance of Toscana virus as a human pathogen demonstrated its association with acute neurologic diseases. A serosurvey for the presence of antibodies to sandfly fever Sicilian, sandfly fever Naples and Toscana viruses indicated that, as in other Mediterranean areas, both sandfly fever Sicilian and sandfly fever Naples viral infections decreased or disappeared after the 1940s in countries performing insecticide-spraying malaria eradication campaigns. In contrast, clinical cases of aseptic meningitis or meningoencephalitis caused by Toscana virus are observed annually in Central Italy during the summer. Toscana virus may be present in other Mediterranean countries where sandflies of the genus Phlebotomus are present.


Aseptic Meningitis Bull World Health Organ Transovarial Transmission Toscana Virus Infeetious Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Aitken THG, Woodall JP, De Andrade AHP, Bensabath G, Shope RE (1975) Pacui virus, phlebotomine flies, and small mammals in Brazil: an epidemiological study. Am J Trop Med Hyg 24: 358–368PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson WME (1941) Clinical observations on sandfly fever in the Peshawar district. J R Army Med Corps 77: 225Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Balducci M, Fausto AM, Verani P, Caciolli S, Renzi A, Paci P, Amaducci L, Leoncini F, Volpi G (1985) Phlebotomus-transmitted viruses in Europe. In: Proceedings of the International Congress for Infectious Diseases. Luigi Pozzi, Rome, pp 101–104Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bartelloni PJ, Tesh RB (1976) Clinical responses of volunteers infected with Phlebotomus fever group virus (Sicilian type). Am J Trop Med Hyg 25: 456–462PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Calisher CH, McLean RG, Smith GC, Szmyd DM, Muth DJ, Lazuick JS (1977) Rio Grande — a new Phlebotomus fever group virus from south Texas. Am J Trop Med Hyg 26: 997–1004PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Calisher CH, Winberg AN, Muth DJ, Laznick JS (1987) Toscana virus infection in a United States citizen returning from Italy. Lancet i: 165–166Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ciufolini MG, Maroli M, Guandalini E, Marchi A, Verani P (1989) Experimental studies on the maintenance of Toscana and Arbia viruses (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus). Am J Trop Med Hyg 40: 669–675PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ciufolini MG, Maroli M, Verani P (1985) Growth of two Phleboviruses after experimental infection of their suspected sandfly vector, Phlebotomus perniciosus (Diptera: Psychodidae). Am J Trop Med Hyg 34: 174PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ehrnst A, Peters CJ, Niklasson B, Svedmyr A, Holmgren B (1985) Neurovirulent Toscana virus (a sandfly fever virus) in Swedish man after a visit to Portugal. Lancet i: 1212–1213Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eitrem R, Niklasson B, Weiland O (1991) Sandfly fever among Swedish tourists. Scand J Infect Dis 23: 451–457PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Eitrem R, Vene S, Niklasson B (1990) Incidence of sandfly fever among Swedish United Nations soldiers on Cyprus during 1985. Am J Trop Med Hyg 43: 207–211PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Endris RG, Tesh RB, Young DG (1983) Transovarial transmission of Rio Grande virus (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) by the sandfly, Lutzomyia anthophora. Am J Trop Med Hyg 32: 862–864PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Feinsod FM, Ksiazek TG, Scott RMcN, Soliman AK, Farrag IH, Ennis WH, Peters CJ, El Said S, Darwish MA (1987) Sandfly-fever infection in Egypt. Am J Trop Med Hyg 37: 193–196PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fleming J, Bignall JR, Blades AN (1947) Sandfly-fever. Review of 664 cases. Lancet i: 443–445Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hertig M, Sabin AB (1964) Sandfly fever. In: Coates JB (ed) Preventive Medicine in World War II, vol 7. Communicable diseases. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, pp 109–174Google Scholar
  16. 16..
    Karabatsos N (ed) (1985) International catalogue of arboviruses including certain other viruses of vertebrates. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, San AntonioGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Maroli M, Ciufolini MG, Verani P (1993) Vertical transmission of Toscana virus in the sandfly Phlebotomus perniciosus via the second gonotrophic cycle. Med Vet Entomol 7: 283–286PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    McLean RG, Szmyd DM, Calisher CH (1992) Experimental studies of Rio Grande virus in rodent hosts. Am J Trop Med Hyg 31: 569–573Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nicoletti L, Verani P, Caciolli S, Ciufolini MG, Renzi A, Bartolozzi D, Paci P, Leoncini F, Padovani P, Traini E, Baldereschi M, Balducci M (1991) Central nervous system involvement during infection by Phlebovirus Toscana of residents in natural foci in Central Italy (1977–1988). Am J Trop Med Hyg 45: 429–434PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nicoletti L, Verani P, Lopes MC, Ciufolini MG, Zampetti P (1980) Studies on Phlebotomus-transmitted viruses in Italy. II. Serological status of human beings. Zentralbl Bakteriol [Suppl] 9: 203–208Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Niklasson B, Eitrem S (1985) Sandfly fever among Swedish UN troops in Cyprus. Lancet i: 1212Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Paci P, Balducci M, Verani P, Coluzzi M, Amaducci L, Leoncini F, Nicoletti L, Ciufolini MG, Fratiglioni L (1983) Toscana virus, a new Phlebotomus-transmitted virus isolated in Italy. In: Proceedings of the International Congress for Infectious Disease. Luigi Pozzi, Rome, pp 35–39Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sabin AB, Philip CB, Paul JR (1944). Phlebotomus (pappataci or sandfly) fever: a disease of military importance; summary of existing knowledge and preliminary report of original investigations. JAMA 125: 603–606, 693–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sabin AB (1951) Experimental studies on Phlebotomus (pappataci, sandfly) fever during World War II. Arch Virusforsch 4: 367–410PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sabin AB (1959) Phlebotomus fever. In: Rivers TM, Horsfall FL (eds) Viral and rickettsial infections of man, 3rd ed. Lippincott, Philadelphia, pp 454–460Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Saidi S, Tesh RB, Javadian E, Sahabi Z, Nadim A (1977) Studies on the epidemiology of sandfly fever in Iran. II. The prevalence of human and animal infection with five Phlebotomus fever serotypes in Isfahan province. Am J Trop Med Hyg 26: 288–293PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sandler A (1946) The clinical picture of pappataci fever, especially in Palestine. Med J Aust 1: 789PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schwarz TF, Gilch S, Jäger G (1993) Travel-related Toscana virus infection. Lancet 342: 803–804PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Srihongse S, Johnson CM (1974) Human infections with Chagres virus in Panama. Am J Trop Med Hyg 23: 690–693PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tesh RB (1988) The genus Phlebovirus and its vectors. Annu Rev Entomol 33:169–181PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tesh RB, Chaniotis BN, Peralta PH, Johnson KM (1974) Ecology of viruses isolates from panamamian sandflies. Am J Trop Med Hyg 24: 258–266Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Tesh RB, Lubroth J, Guzman H (1992) Simulation of arbovirus overwintering: survival of Toscana virus (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) in its natural sandfly vector Phlebotomus perniciosus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 47: 574–581PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tesh RB, Modi GB (1987) Maintenance of Toscana virus in Phlebotomus perniciosus by vertical transmission. Am J Trop Med Hyg 36: 189–193PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Tesh RB, Modi GB (1984) Studies on the biology of Phleboviruses in sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) I. Experimental infection of the vector. Am J Trop Med Hyg 33: 1007–1016PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Tesh RB, Papaevangelou G (1977) Effect of insecticide spraying for malaria control on the incidence of sandfly fever in Athens, Greece. Am J Trop Med Hyg 26: 163–166PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Tesh RB, Peralta PH, Shope RE, Chaniotis BN, Johnson KM (1975) Antigenic relationship among Phlebotomus fever group arboviruses and their implications for the epidemiology of sandfly fever. Am J Trop Med Hyg 24: 135–144PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Tesh RB, Peters CJ, Meegan JM (1982) Studies on antigenic relationship among Phleboviruses. Am J Trop Med Hyg 31: 149–155PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Tesh RB, Saidi S, Gajdamovic S Ja, Rodhain F, Vesenjak-Hirjan J (1976) Serologic studies on the epidemiology of sandfly fever in Old World. Bull World Health Organ 54: 663–674PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Tesh RB, Saidi S, Javadian E, Nadim A (1977) Studies on the epidemiology of sandfly fever in Iran. I. Virus isolates obtained from Phlebotomus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 26: 282–287PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Travassos da Rosa APA, Tesh RB, Pinheiro FP, Travassos de Rosa JFS, Peterson NE (1983) Characterization of eight new Phlebotomus fever serogroup arboviruses (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) from the Amazon region of Brazil. Am J Trop Med Hyg 32: 1164–1171Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Verani P, Ciufolini MG, Caciolli S, Renzi A, Nicoletti L, Sabatinelli G, Bartolozzi D, Volpi G, Amaducci L, Coluzzi M, Paci P, Balducci M (1988) Ecology of viruses isolated from sandflies in Italy and characterization of a new Phlebovirus (Arbia virus). Am J Trop Med Hyg 38: 433–439PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Verani P, Lopes MC, Nicoletti L, Balducci M (1980) Studies on Phlebotomus- transmitted viruses in Italy. I. Isolation and characterization of a sandfly fever Naples-like virus. Zentralbl Bakeriol [Suppl] 9: 195–201Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Nicoletti
    • 1
  • M. G. Ciufolini
    • 1
  • P. Verani
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of VirologyIstituto Superiore di SanitàRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations