Toscana virus

Toscana virus (TOSV) is an arbovirus (arthropod-borne virus) belonging to the Phlebovirus genus of the Bunyaviridae family. TOSV is a spherical virus, 80-120 nm in diameter, enveloped and whose genome is composed of three RNA molecules (S, M and L). The polarity of the genome is negative except for the S segment, the smallest, which has a bidirectional coding strategy.

Although the first cases of TOSV were detected in Italy, in recent years it has been shown that the geographical distribution of the virus is broader, and it has been detected in most of the Mediterranean countries of Western Europe (Portugal, Spain, France, Greece and Croatia), as well as in Cyprus and Turkey. In this territory, this virus, together with the Enterovirus and the Herpes virus, are responsible for most cases of meningitis during the summer.

Clinical features: The incubation period of the virus is usually short (usually 3 to 7 days, up to a maximum of 14 days). The most common symptoms are headache, fever, nausea/vomiting, and myalgia. On examination, neck stiffness, altered level of consciousness, and less frequently tremors, paresis, and nystagmus can be observed. The symptoms usually last an average of 7 days and the evolution is usually favorable.

Diagnosis: Tests for the detection of IgM/IgG can be performed, usually by immunoassay techniques (ELISA), in serum and CSF. Serological tests are complementary to direct diagnosis by culture and/or molecular biology (PCR), which are usually performed on CSF. Molecular techniques can detect low concentrations of the virus.

Treatment: Treatment of TOSV infection is mainly symptomatic and supportive, and there is no effective vaccine against the infection.

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