Genetic characterization of Arrabida virus, a novel phlebovirus isolated in South Portugal
In order to detect phleboviruses' natural infection in sandflies, an entomological survey was carried out, from May to October in 2007 and 2008, in Arrábida region in the south of Portugal. The isolation of a new phlebovirus was achieved after inoculation of a sandfly pool homogenate in Vero E6 cells. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of the complete genome sequences from the Small, Medium and Large, segments obtained with Next Generation sequencing, we can assume that the new phlebovirus, provisionally named Arrabida virus, is closely related to Massilia, Granada and Punique viruses. This is the first isolation of a sandfly-borne phlebovirus from the Sandfly Naples Fever Virus group in Portugal. Further investigation is needed in order to assess the importance of this phlebovirus for Public Health.