News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)
This study reports, for the first time, the circulation of a Meaban flavivirus in a widely distributed and anthropophilic seabird species, the yellow-legged gull in the western Mediterranean. Of importance, we found very high prevalence levels in Medes Islands, a touristic hot spot in the northeast coast of Spain. Further, we also detect the virus on the tick vectors from Medes. Our results are relevant as they pinpoint the role of wildlife species for the local, and potentially large-scale, circulation of flavivirus of disease concern and the risk of spillover to other domestic animals and also humans. Indeed, gulls often live in or near urban areas, which may pose disease risk to humans. E. Gómez-Díaz (IBE) and A. Arnal (Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive) are the first authors of the study.
Arnal A, Gómez-Díaz E, Cerdà-Cuéllar M, Lecollinet S, Pearce-Duvet J, et al. (2014) Circulation of a Meaban-Like Virus in Yellow-Legged Gulls and Seabird Ticks in the Western Mediterranean Basin. PLoS ONE 9(3): e89601. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089601