Medical Definition of Keystone virus

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Keystone virus: a virus first isolated in 1964 from mosquitoes in Keystone, Florida that has recently been described as being isolated from a human host. The virus is known to infect animal populations in coastal regions from Texas to the Chesapeake Bay and is carried by the Aedes atlanticus mosquito. Despite evidence that humans make antibodies to the virus, it has never been isolated from a human host until now. In June 2018 a report identified that the virus was identified from laboratory samples taken from a teenager who became sick in Florida during the 2016 Zika virus outbreak.

Keystone virus belongs to a group of viruses (arboviruses) that have been shown to cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in humans, but the affected teen only developed a fever and rash without signs of encephalitis. Until now, there has not been a way to test for the virus, it is unknown how common the infection is among humans.

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Reviewed on 6/22/2018

REFERENCE: Lednicky et al. Keystone Virus Isolated from a Florida Teenager with Rash and Subjective Fever: Another Endemic Arbovirus in the Southeastern United States? Clinical Infectious Diseases. June 09, 2018.

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