Keeping track of hidden dangers - The short history of the Sabiá virus

Abstract Emerging infectious diseases are a global threat. In countries like Brazil, where biodiversity is high and public health conditions in terms of infrastructure and medical care are often precarious, emerging diseases are particularly worrisome. The lack of monitoring strategies to identify pathogens with the potential to cause outbreaks or epidemics is another problem in Brazil and other developing countries. In this article, we present the history of the Sabiá virus (SABV), a pathogen that was described in the 1990s in Brazil. Several aspects of the biology and ecology of the SABV remain unknown. The SABV has the potential to cause hemorrhagic fever in humans. To date, four cases of human infections have been reported worldwide; two were naturally acquired (both in Brazil), whereas the other two were linked to occupational exposure in the laboratory environment (one in Brazil and one in the USA). In this review, we summarize the basic biological and ecological characteristics of the SABV. This is the first work to gather all available data on the historical aspects involving the cases of SABV infection along with an update on its characteristic features.