Inkoo virus – a common but unrecognized mosquito-borne virus in northern Europe

Inkoo virus (INKV) is a common but less explored mosquito-borne virus belonging to family Bunyaviridae, genus Orthobunyavirus of the California serogroup [1]. The virus was originally isolated in Finland in 1964 and has since then been detected in other northern European countries including Norway, Russia and Sweden [2–5]. The virus has been associated with fever and encephalitis [6], in addition, patients considered positive for INKV antibodies have been linked with neurologic disease [7,8].

Very few cases of acute INKV infection are recognized but studies in Finland and Sweden have highlighted an increase in the overall seroprevalence of INKV, with the latest estimates being 41% and 51%, respectively [9]. Antibodies against INKV have also been identified in animal hosts including moose, cattle, reindeer and mountain hare [10]. However, a clinical manifestation of the disease in animals has not been reported. Although seroprevalence is a measure of past exposure to INKV, the best indicator of the actual situation of INKV is incidence. The true incidence of INKV disease in humans is not known, however, the disease caused by INKV might exist without being reported owing to most cases  probably existing subclinically.

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