Arboviral diseases are zoonoses caused by arthropod-borne viruses and affect both humans and animals. Viruses are spread through the bite of infected vectors, such as mosquitoes, ticks and sand flies. Over 100 viruses are currently classified as arboviruses, and are known to cause diseases in humans. Most of them belong to the Togaviridae (Alphavirus), Flaviridae (Flavivirus) and Bunyaviridae (Bunyavirus and Phlebovirus) families. In Italy, arboviruses are responsible for imported and local infections and can cause diseases with different clinical presentations. Arboviral diseases should therefore be considered in differential diagnosis when patients have a history of travel abroad or if certain arboviruses are known to be spreading across the country.
In Italy, specific surveillance plans are in place for the following arboviral diseases: Chikungunya, Dengue, Zika, West Nile, Usutu, Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and neuroinvasive infections caused by Toscana virus.
The integrated surveillance of arboviral diseases in Italy is coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) and (for the West Nile and Usutu viruses) the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Abruzzo and Molise (Izs-AM), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, which regularly publishes surveillance and response plans to ensure early detection of potential cases and minimize any spread of disease.