FLI detects novel bornavirus also in squirrels of the subfamily Callosciurinae

Scientists of the FLI now have also detected the Variegated Squirrel Bornavirus 1 (VSBV-1), which has been newly discovered early this year, in squirrels of the subfamily Callosciurinae. More information on the virus is provided in a fact sheet. Early this year scientists of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) and of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) were successful in identifying a novel bornavirus in variegated squirrels (Variegated Squirrel Bornavirus 1, VSBV-1). In all likelihood the virus was transmitted from variegated squirrels to three breeders who died of encephalitis, as indicated by the metagenome analysis of tissue samples from the animals and one deceased patient. The FLI on the Isle of Riems conducts further investigations on the spread of this virus in animals. In the frame of these investigations VSBV-1 now has also been detected in Callosciurinae. It remains unclear whether other squirrels or other animal species are also affected. For further elucidation the Bernhard Nocht Institute, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut und Robert-Koch-Institute cooperate with federal and state veterinary and health agencies. More information on VSBV-1 (in German language) can be found in the fact sheet of the FLI.


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