Usutu virus disease: a potential problem for North America?

J Neurovirol. 2020 Apr;26(2):149-154. doi: 10.1007/s13365-019-00818-y. Epub 2019 Dec 19.


Usutu virus is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus initially identified in South Africa in 1959 that is now circulating throughout parts of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. It is closely related to West Nile virus, and has similar vectors, amplifying bird hosts, and epidemiology. Usutu virus infection can occur in humans and may be asymptomatic or cause systemic (e.g., fever, rash, and hepatitis) or neuroinvasive (e.g., meningitis and encephalitis) disease. Given few reported cases, the full clinical spectrum is not known. No anti-viral treatment is available, but it can be largely prevented by avoiding mosquito bites. Because of similar mosquitoes, birds, and climate to Europe, the potential for introduction to North America is possible.

Keywords: Arboviral disease; Arbovirus; Flaviviridae; Flavivirus; Usutu; Usutu virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Flavivirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Flavivirus Infections / transmission
  • Flavivirus Infections / virology*
  • Flavivirus*
  • Humans
  • North America

Supplementary concepts

  • Usutu virus