Rapid communication Open Access
Like 0


We report a case of Zika virus infection imported in Florence, Italy ex-Thailand, leading to a secondary autochthonous case, probably through sexual transmission. The two cases occurred in May 2014 but were retrospectively diagnosed in 2016 on the basis of serological tests (plaque reduction neutralisation) performed on stored serum samples. Our report provides further evidence that sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Ministero della salute. Direzione Generale della Prevenzione Sanitaria, Ufficio V, Malattie Infettive e Profilassi Internazionale ex-DGPREV. Sorveglianza dei casi umani di Chikungunya, Dengue, West Nile Disease ed altre arbovirosi e valutazione del rischio di trasmissione in Italia - 2015. Circolare 16 giugno 2015. Italian. Available from: http://www.epicentro.iss.it/problemi/westNile/pdf/Circolare_arbovirosi_2015.pdf.
  2. Dick GW, Kitchen SF, Haddow AJ. Zika virus. I. Isolations and serological specificity. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1952;46(5):509-20.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0035-9203(52)90042-4  PMID: 12995440 
  3. Dick GW. Zika virus. II. Pathogenicity and physical properties. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1952;46(5):521-34.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0035-9203(52)90043-6  PMID: 12995441 
  4. Hayes EB. Zika virus outside Africa. Emerg Infect Dis. 2009;15(9):1347-50.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1509.090442  PMID: 19788800 
  5. Cao-Lormeau VM, Roche C, Teissier A, Robin E, Berry AL, Mallet HP, et al. Zika virus, French polynesia, South pacific, 2013. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014;20(6):1085-6.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2006.140138  PMID: 24856001 
  6. Zanluca C, de Melo VCA, Mosimann ALP, Dos Santos GIV, Dos Santos CND, Luz K. First report of autochthonous transmission of Zika virus in Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2015;110(4):569-72.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0074-02760150192  PMID: 26061233 
  7. Musso D, Cao-Lormeau VM, Gubler DJ. Zika virus: following the path of dengue and chikungunya? Lancet. 2015;386(9990):243-4.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)61273-9  PMID: 26194519 
  8. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Rapid Risk Assessment. Zika virus infection outbreak, Brazil and the Pacific region. Stockholm: ECDC; 25 May 2015. Available from: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/rapid-risk-assessment-Zika%20virus-southamerica-Brazil-2015.pdf
  9. Fauci AS, Morens DM. Zika Virus in the Americas--Yet Another Arbovirus Threat. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(7):601-4.  https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1600297  PMID: 26761185 
  10. Zammarchi L, Tappe D, Fortuna C, Remoli ME, Günther S, Venturi G, et al. Zika virus infection in a traveller returning to Europe from Brazil, March 2015. Euro Surveill. 2015;20(23):21153.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES2015.20.23.21153  PMID: 26084316 
  11. McCarthy M. First US case of Zika virus infection is identified in Texas. BMJ. 2016;352:i212.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i212  PMID: 26762624 
  12. Maria AT, Maquart M, Makinson A, Flusin O, Segondy M, Leparc-Goffart I, et al. Zika virus infections in three travellers returning from South America and the Caribbean respectively, to Montpellier, France, December 2015 to January 2016. Euro Surveill. 2016;21(6):30131.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.6.30131  PMID: 26898198 
  13. O’Dowd A. UK records four cases of Zika virus in past six weeks. BMJ. 2016;352:i875.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i875  PMID: 26868672 
  14. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Rapid risk assessment: Microcephaly in Brazil potentially linked to the Zika virus epidemic. Stockholm: ECDC; 25 Nov 2015. Available from: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/_layouts/forms/Publication_DispForm.aspx?List=4f55ad51-4aed-4d32-b960-af70113dbb90&ID=1407#sthash.BIacezic.dpuf
  15. World Health Organization (WHO). WHO Director-General summarizes the outcome of the Emergency Committee regarding clusters of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome; 1 Feb 2016. [Accessed 23 Feb 2016]. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/emergency-committee-zika-microcephaly/en/
  16. Besnard M, Lastere S, Teissier A, Cao-Lormeau V, Musso D. Evidence of perinatal transmission of Zika virus, French Polynesia, December 2013 and February 2014. Euro Surveill. 2014;19(13):20751.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES2014.19.13.20751  PMID: 24721538 
  17. Musso D, Nhan T, Robin E, Roche C, Bierlaire D, Zisou K, et al. Potential for Zika virus transmission through blood transfusion demonstrated during an outbreak in French Polynesia, November 2013 to February 2014. Euro Surveill. 2014;19(14):20761.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES2014.19.14.20761  PMID: 24739982 
  18. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). Brazil confirms blood-transfusion Zika; PAHO calls for global support. Minneapolis: CIDRAP; 2016. [Accessed 05 Feb 2016]. Available from: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/newsperspective/ 2016/02/brazil-confirms-blood-transfusion-zika-paho-calls-global-support
  19. Musso D, Roche C, Robin E, Nhan T, Teissier A, Cao-Lormeau VM. Potential sexual transmission of Zika virus. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015;21(2):359-61.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2102.141363  PMID: 25625872 
  20. Atkinson B, Hearn P, Afrough B, Lumley S, Carter D, Aarons EJ, et al. Detection of Zika virus in semen. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016;22(5).  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2205.160107 
  21. Foy BD, Kobylinski KC, Chilson Foy JL, Blitvich BJ, Travassos da Rosa A, Haddow AD, et al. Probable non-vector-borne transmission of Zika virus, Colorado, USA. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(5):880-2.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1705.101939  PMID: 21529401 
  22. McCarthy M. Zika virus was transmitted by sexual contact in Texas, health officials report. BMJ. 2016;352:i720.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i720  PMID: 26848011 
  23. Oster AM, Brooks JT, Stryker JE, Kachur RE, Mead P, Pesik NT, et al. Interim Guidelines for Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus - United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(5):120-1.  https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6505e1  PMID: 26866485 
  24. Wong PS, Li MZ, Chong CS, Ng LC, Tan CH. Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse): a potential vector of Zika virus in Singapore. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7(8):e2348.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0002348  PMID: 23936579 
  25. Charrel RN, Leparc-Goffart I, Pas S, de Lamballerie X, Koopmans M, Reusken C. State of knowledge on Zika virus for an adequate laboratory response [Submitted]. Bull World Health Organ. E-pub: 10 Feb 2016.
  26. Musso D, Roche C, Nhan TX, Robin E, Teissier A, Cao-Lormeau VM. Detection of Zika virus in saliva. J Clin Virol. 2015;68:53-5.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2015.04.021  PMID: 26071336 
  27. Gourinat AC, O’Connor O, Calvez E, Goarant C, Dupont-Rouzeyrol M. Detection of Zika virus in urine. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015;21(1):84-6.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2101.140894  PMID: 25530324 
  28. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Zika virus infection: Factsheet for health professionals. Factsheet for health professionals. Stockholm: ECDC; 12 Feb 2016. Available from: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/zika_virus_infection/factsheet-health-professionals/Pages/factsheet_health_professionals.aspx#sthash.Ovu33Mb6.dpuf
  29. Drosten C, Göttig S, Schilling S, Asper M, Panning M, Schmitz H, et al. Rapid detection and quantification of RNA of Ebola and Marburg viruses, Lassa virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus, dengue virus, and yellow fever virus by real-time reverse transcription-PCR. J Clin Microbiol. 2002;40(7):2323-30.  https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.40.7.2323-2330.2002  PMID: 12089242 
  30. Lanciotti RS, Kosoy OL, Laven JJ, Velez JO, Lambert AJ, Johnson AJ, et al. Genetic and serologic properties of Zika virus associated with an epidemic, Yap State, Micronesia, 2007. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008;14(8):1232-9.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1408.080287  PMID: 18680646 
  31. Venturi G, Mel R, Marchi A, Mancuso S, Russino F, Pra GD, et al. Humoral immunity and correlation between ELISA, hemagglutination inhibition, and neutralization tests after vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis virus in children. J Virol Methods. 2006;134(1-2):136-9.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jviromet.2005.12.010  PMID: 16458368 

Data & Media loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error