Surveillance report Open Access
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Toscana virus infection is endemic in Italy, but has also been documented in other Mediterranean countries. Our aim was to investigate the occurrence of Toscana virus (TOSV) meningitis in children and young adults in a metropolitan area in the north of Portugal. Cerebrospinal fluid samples from 308 patients with the diagnosis of meningitis and with negative bacterial culture were tested for enteroviruses and herpesviruseses by reverse transcription PCR. Those samples that proved negative for enterovirus and herpesvirus were tested for Toscana virus with a commercial reverse transcription nested PCR assay. In total, we investigated 106 samples, collected between May and September during the four-year period between 2002 and 2005 from patients younger than 30 years old. Toscana virus was the cause of meningitis in six (5.6%) of the cases, three children and three young adults. All had a benign course and self-limited disease. Since a first case report of TOSV infection 1985 and another in 1996, both in foreign tourists, these six cases of Toscana virus meningitis are, to our knowledge, the first diagnosed in Portuguese inhabitants, and they underline the need for more studies on the prevalence of this virus in Portugal.


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