Development of a Point-of-care Assay for the Detection of Sand Fly Fever Virus (SFFV), a Militarily Important Pathogen of the CENTCOM, EUCOM and AFRIC
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Sand fly fever is actually caused by a group of several viruses often termed Sand fly ever viruses (SFFV) and are typically caused by Toscana, Naples and Sicilian viruses. The Toscana virus is confined to Italy and the Mediterranean basin whereas the Naples and Sicilian viruses are more prevalent and often found together in the Middle East through Pakistan and Afghanistan. More recently Sicilian viruses have been identified in Tunisia and Algeria. The Toscana virus can lead to severe meningitis whereas the Naples and Sicilian virus lead to short term febrile illness. Recent studies in the South of France indicate that significant numbers of blood donors are infected with the Toscana virus and that individuals with central nervous system disorders have higher than normal infection rate with this virus. Availability of simple rapid immunological tests for Sand fly fever viruses that can differentiate the causative viruses would have both military applications in many of the troop deployment areas as well as civilian use in differentially diagnosing Sand fly fever virus infections. It would also be complementary to other tests for sand fly borne diseases e.g. Leishmaniasis which also initially presents as a febrile illness.
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