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Chryso Theodorou Pallari, Speaker at Infectious Diseases Conferences
University of Nicosia, Cyprus
Title : First detection of WNV RNA presence in field-collected mosquitoes in Cyprus


West Nile virus (WNV) infections have increased over recent years to the extent that WNV has become one of the most widespread arboviruses in the world, with potential consequences for both human and animal health. While much is known about WNV and the vectors that transmit it from their primary hosts across continental Europe, little is known about the epidemiology of the disease on the island of Cyprus. In this study, the aim was to investigate the prevalence of WNV infection in potential mosquito vectors for the first time in the Republic of Cyprus, using WNV surveillance of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes were collected in 2019, during which an outbreak in humans had occurred, and sampled mosquitoes were then examined for WNV infection by testing them for the presence of WNV RNA. Of 126 mosquito pools tested, one pool, containing Culex pipiens mosquitoes sampled from the Nicosia district, was found to be positive for the presence of WNV RNA. The positive pool found in this study represents the first demonstration of WNV in mosquitoes in Cyprus and confirms that human cases in Cyprus are likely the result of transmission via local Culex mosquitoes.


Chryso Th. Pallari is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Nicosia Medical School. Dr Pallari holds a BSc (First-Class Honours degree) in Biological Sciences, and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus. Her research interests are in the fields of epidemiology and infectious diseases. She is particularly interested in the epidemiology and extent of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Cyprus. Furthermore, she has extensive experience in the classification of mosquitoes and her research interests also cover the field of entomology, vector-borne infections, and statistics. She performed her diploma dissertation at the Tumour Viruses and Cancer laboratory, where she investigated the in vivo interaction of the HPV16 oncogenes and telomerase in mouse epithelium. Her PhD Thesis was then performed at the Behavioural Ecology and Evolution laboratory and investigated the epidemiology of WNV in its primary hosts and potential vectors in Cyprus. Her research findings represent the first demonstration of WNV in mosquitoes in Cyprus.