Oertzenweg 19 b
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Sindbis virus (SINV) is an arbovirus that causes clinical symptoms, including arthritis, rash, and fever during acute human infections. In Europe, SINV outbreaks are largely restricted to northern Europe. Intrigued by the isolation of SINV from mosquitoes in southwestern Germany in 2009, we initiated a passive arbovirus-monitoring program in birds and analyzed a total of 685 samples. By this approach, we were able to detect a SINV in a Hooded Crow in Germany for the first time. It was possible to isolate SINV virus in cell cultures and even to visualize virus particles by electron microscopy. After the determination of the complete SINV genome sequence, the phylogenetic analysis revealed its close relationship to SINV genotype I sequences previously obtained from mosquitoes in Germany and Scandinavia. This first report on the isolation of viable SINV indicates the potential involvement of crows in an enzootic circulation of SINV in Germany and Central Europe.