[Usutu virus: the phantom menace]

Med Sci (Paris). 2018 Aug-Sep;34(8-9):709-716. doi: 10.1051/medsci/20183408018. Epub 2018 Sep 19.
[Article in French]


Usutu virus, an arbovirus discovered in Africa in 1959, has spread over a large part of Europe over the last twenty years causing significant bird mortality as reported in France since 2015. The zoonotic risk, associated with this succession of avian epizootics in Europe, deserves to be taken into account even if human cases remain rare to date. Human infections are most often asymptomatic or present a benign clinical expression. However, neurological complications such as encephalitis or meningoencephalitis have been described. In addition, the recent description of an atypical case of facial paralysis in France suggests that the clinical spectrum of infections caused by Usutu virus is not fully characterized. Finally, the recent history of other arboviral outbreaks invites the scientific community to be extremely vigilant.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asymptomatic Infections
  • Culicidae / physiology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Facial Paralysis / virology
  • Flavivirus / pathogenicity
  • Flavivirus / physiology*
  • Flavivirus Infections* / complications
  • Flavivirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Flavivirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Flavivirus Infections* / transmission
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / virology*
  • Zoonoses / transmission
  • Zoonoses / virology

Supplementary concepts

  • Usutu virus