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Lineage 2 West Nile virus (WNV), previously found only in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, was identified in Hungary in 2004 and has rapidly expanded in Europe in the past decade. Following a significant outbreak of West Nile fever with neurological cases caused by lineage 1 WNV in Romania in 1996, scattered cases have been recorded in the south-east of the country in each transmission season. Another outbreak, affecting a larger area and caused by lineage 2 WNV, was recorded in 2010. We analysed human sera from neuroinvasive West Nile fever cases and mosquitoes, sampled in south-eastern Romania between 2011 and 2013, for the presence of WNV genome, and obtained partial NS5 and envelope glycoprotein sequences. Human- and mosquito-derived WNV sequences were highly similar (99%) to Volgograd 2007 lineage 2 WNV and differed from isolates previously detected in central and southern Europe. WNV was detected in one pool of Culex pipiens s.l. males, documenting vertical transmission. Lineage 4 WNV, of unknown pathogenicity to mammals, was found in the amphibian-feeding mosquito Uranotaenia unguiculata from the Danube Delta. Our results present molecular evidence for the maintenance of the same isolates of Volgograd 2007-like lineage 2 WNV in south-eastern Romania between 2011 and 2013.


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