Quaranfil Virus

Quaranfil is a little Egyptian village near Cairo. In 1953 an unknown virus was isolated from a feverish child and somewhat later the same virus was collected from a tick, Argas arboreus. It has subsequently been isolated in multiple geographic areas that encompass Africa[1], the entire Middle East and Asia as far away as Tibet. Furthermore it seems to infect a multitude of ticks, birds (heron, pigeons) and mammals, including humans.
Research indicated that the Quaranfil virus should be classified as a novel Orthomyxovirus[2] and that makes it a direct relative of the Influenza viruses. We now know that the Quaranfil virus belongs to the subgroup (or genus) Quarjaviruses and shares that group with the Johnston Atoll virus and the Lake Chad virus.

The virus infection index is closely correlated with the heron’s spring breeding and winter migration periods and with population dynamics and wintertime diapause (hibernation) of the Argas arboreus.

[1] Kemp et al: Isolation of Nyamanini and Quaranfil viruses from Argas (Persicargas) arboreus ticks in Nigeria in Journal of Medical Entomology - 1075
[2] Presti et al: Quaranfil, Johnston Atoll, and Lake Chad viruses are novel members of the family Orthomyxoviridae in Journal of Virology - 2009

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