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Abstract

Arboviruses are viral pathogens that are transmitted from an animal reservoir to humans via an arthropod vector. These viruses result in a large burden of disease worldwide and show a propensity for establishing new endemic foci in geographically distant regions. The potential impact of arboviruses in Central Asia is unclear due to the scarcity of reports available in English; however, the collation of available data shows that numerous important human viruses are circulating in the region. Pathogens such as Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus and Tahyna virus are likely to be responsible for numerous cases of human disease in Central Asia on an annual basis. There is evidence that pathogens such as West Nile virus and sandfly fever virus have resulted in sporadic outbreaks of human disease across the region; these events appear to be triggered by a significant change in the abundance of local arthropod vectors or events altering the contact between humans and local arthropod populations, such as conflict or natural disasters. In addition, there are several under-researched arboviruses that could result in a significant disease, including Karshi virus, Issyk-Kul virus and Syr-Darya Valley fever virus. This review provides the first comprehensive assessment of emerging arboviruses in Central Asia. Further research is required to assess the full impact of arboviruses on human health in the region and to monitor potential spread. Up-to-date information regarding arbovirus endemicity will allow for the development and distribution of rapid diagnostics, the implementation of bite-prevention strategies in at-risk areas and improved travel recommendations.

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2019-12-06
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