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  1. West Nile virus

    MedlinePlus

    ... believe West Nile virus is spread when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then bites a person. ... avoid getting West Nile virus infection after a mosquito bite. People in good health generally do not develop ...

  2. Predictive modeling of West Nile virus transmission risk in the Mediterranean Basin: how far from landing?

    PubMed

    Chevalier, Véronique; Tran, Annelise; Durand, Benoit

    2014-01-01

    The impact on human and horse health of West Nile fever (WNF) recently and dramatically increased in Europe and neighboring countries. Involving several mosquito and wild bird species, WNF epidemiology is complex. Despite the implementation of surveillance systems in several countries of concern, and due to a lack of knowledge, outbreak occurrence remains unpredictable. Statistical models may help identifying transmission risk factors. When spatialized, they provide tools to identify areas that are suitable for West Nile virus transmission. Mathematical models may be used to improve our understanding of epidemiological process involved, to evaluate the impact of environmental changes or test the efficiency of control measures. We propose a systematic literature review of publications aiming at modeling the processes involved in WNF transmission in the Mediterranean Basin. The relevance of the corresponding models as predictive tools for risk mapping, early warning and for the design of surveillance systems in a changing environment is analyzed. PMID:24362544

  3. The use of early summer mosquito surveillance to predict late summer West Nile virus activity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, Howard S.; Rochlin, Ilia; Campbell, Scott R.

    2010-01-01

    Utility of early-season mosquito surveillance to predict West Nile virus activity in late summer was assessed in Suffolk County, NY. Dry ice-baited CDC miniature light traps paired with gravid traps were set weekly. Maximum-likelihood estimates of WNV positivity, minimum infection rates, and % positive pools were generally well correlated. However, positivity in gravid traps was not correlated with positivity in CDC light traps. The best early-season predictors of WNV activity in late summer (estimated using maximum-likelihood estimates of Culex positivity in August and September) were early date of first positive pool, low numbers of mosquitoes in July, and low numbers of mosquito species in July. These results suggest that early-season entomological samples can be used to predict WNV activity later in the summer, when most human cases are acquired. Additional research is needed to establish which surveillance variables are most predictive and to characterize the reliability of the predictions.

  4. West Nile virus vaccine.

    PubMed

    Monath, T P; Arroyo, J; Miller, C; Guirakhoo, F

    2001-05-01

    Within the past 5 years, West Nile encephalitis has emerged as an important disease of humans and horses in Europe. In 1999, the disease appeared for the first time in the northeastern United States. West Nile virus (a mosquito-borne flavivirus) has flourished in the North American ecosystem and is expected to expand its geographic range. In this review, the rationale for a human and veterinary vaccine is presented and a novel approach for rapid development of a molecularly-defined, live, attenuated vaccine is described. The technology (ChimeriVax) is applicable to the development of vaccines against all flaviviruses, and products against Japanese encephalitis (a close relative of West Nile) and dengue are in or are nearing clinical trials, respectively. ChimeriVax vaccines utilize the safe and effective vaccine against the prototype flavivirus -yellow fever 17D- as a live vector. Infectious clone technology is used to replace the genes encoding the pre-membrane (prM) and envelope (E) protein of yellow fever 17D vaccine with the corresponding genes of the target virus (e.g., West Nile). The resulting chimeric virus contains the antigens responsible for protection against West Nile but retains the replication efficiency of yellow fever 17D. The ChimeriVax technology is well-suited to the rapid development of a West Nile vaccine, and clinical trials could begin as early as mid-2002. Other approaches to vaccine development are briefly reviewed. The aim of this brief review is to describe the features of West Nile encephalitis, a newly introduced infectious disease affecting humans, horses and wildlife in the United States; the rationale for rapid development of vaccines; and approaches to the development of vaccines against the disease.

  5. FAQ: West Nile Virus and Dead Birds

    MedlinePlus

    ... Education Public Service Videos West Nile Virus & Dead Birds Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir On this ... dead bird sightings to local authorities. How do birds get infected with West Nile virus? West Nile ...

  6. Impacts of West Nile Virus on wildlife

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saito, E.K.; Wild, M.A.

    2004-01-01

    The recent epidemic of West Nile virus in the United States proved to be unexpectedly active and was the largest epidemic of the virus ever recorded. Much remains to be discovered about the ecology and epidemiology of West Nile virus in the United States, including which species are important in maintaining the virus in nature, why some species are more susceptible to lethal infection, and what environmental factors are important in predicting future epidemics. These factors will likely vary regionally, depending on local ecological characteristics. Until scientists better understand the virus and factors influencing its activity, predicting its effects for future seasons is impossible. However, experts are certain about one thing: West Nile virus is here to stay.

  7. Predictive Mapping of Human Risk for West Nile Virus (WNV) Based on Environmental and Socioeconomic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Rochlin, Ilia; Turbow, David; Gomez, Frank; Ninivaggi, Dominick V.; Campbell, Scott R.

    2011-01-01

    A West Nile virus (WNV) human risk map was developed for Suffolk County, New York utilizing a case-control approach to explore the association between the risk of vector-borne WNV and habitat, landscape, virus activity, and socioeconomic variables derived from publically available datasets. Results of logistic regression modeling for the time period between 2000 and 2004 revealed that higher proportion of population with college education, increased habitat fragmentation, and proximity to WNV positive mosquito pools were strongly associated with WNV human risk. Similar to previous investigations from north-central US, this study identified middle class suburban neighborhoods as the areas with the highest WNV human risk. These results contrast with similar studies from the southern and western US, where the highest WNV risk was associated with low income areas. This discrepancy may be due to regional differences in vector ecology, urban environment, or human behavior. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analytical tools were used to integrate the risk factors in the 2000–2004 logistic regression model generating WNV human risk map. In 2005–2010, 41 out of 46 (89%) of WNV human cases occurred either inside of (30 cases) or in close proximity (11 cases) to the WNV high risk areas predicted by the 2000–2004 model. The novel approach employed by this study may be implemented by other municipal, local, or state public health agencies to improve geographic risk estimates for vector-borne diseases based on a small number of acute human cases. PMID:21853103

  8. West Nile Virus and wildlife

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marra, P.P.; Griffing, S.; Caffrey, C.; Kilpatrick, A.M.; McLean, R.; Brand, C.; Saito, E.; Dupuis, A.P.; Kramer, L.; Novak, R.

    2004-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has spread rapidly across North America, resulting in human deaths and in the deaths of untold numbers of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The virus has reached Central America and the Caribbean and may spread to Hawaii and South America. Although tens of thousands of birds have died, and studies of some bird species show local declines, few regionwide declines can be attributed to WNV. Predicting future impacts of WNV on wildlife, and pinpointing what drives epidemics, will require substantial additional research into host susceptibility, reservoir competency, and linkages between climate, mosquitoes, and disease. Such work will entail a collaborative effort between scientists in governmental research groups, in surveillance and control programs, and in nongovernmental organizations. West Nile virus was not the first, and it will not be the last, exotic disease to be introduced to the New World. Its spread in North America highlights the need to strengthen animal monitoring programs and to integrate them with research on disease ecology.

  9. A Hierarchical Approach Embedding Hydrologic and Population Modeling for a West Nile Virus Vector Prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jian, Y.; Silvestri, S.; Marani, M.; Saltarin, A.; Chillemi, G.

    2012-12-01

    We applied a hierarchical state space model to predict the abundance of Cx.pipiens (a West Nile Virus vector) in the Po River Delta Region, Northeastern Italy. The study area has large mosquito abundance, due to a favorable environment and climate as well as dense human population. Mosquito data were collected on a weekly basis at more than 20 sites from May to September in 2010 and 2011. Cx.pipiens was the dominant species in our samples, accounting for about 90% of the more than 300,000 total captures. The hydrological component of the model accounted for evapotranspiration, infiltration and deep percolation to infer, in a 0D context, the local dynamics of soil moisture as a direct exogenous forcing of mosquito dynamics. The population model had a Gompertz structure, which included exogenous meteorological forcings and delayed internal dynamics. The models were coupled within a hierarchical statistical structure to overcome the relatively short length of the samples by exploiting the large number of concurrent observations available. The results indicated that Cx.pipiens abundance had significant density dependence at 1 week lag, which approximately matched its development time from larvae to adult. Among the exogenous controls, temperature, daylight hours, and soil moisture explained most of the dynamics. Longer daylight hours and lower soil moisture values resulted in higher abundance. The negative correlation of soil moisture and mosquito population can be explained with the abundance of water in the region (e.g. due to irrigation) and the preference for eutrophic habitats by Cx.pipien. Variations among sites were explained by land use factors as represented by distance to the nearest rice field and NDVI values: the carrying capacity decreased with increased distance to the nearest rice filed, while the maximum growth rate was positively related with NDVI. The model shows a satisfactory performance in predicting (potentially one week in advance) mosquito

  10. West Nile virus meningoencephalitis

    PubMed Central

    DeBiasi, Roberta L.; Tyler, Kenneth L.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Since its first appearance in the US in 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has emerged as the most common cause of epidemic meningoencephalitis in North America. In the 6 years following the 1999 outbreak, the geographic range and burden of the disease in birds, mosquitoes and humans has greatly expanded to include the 48 contiguous US and 7 Canadian provinces, as well as Mexico, the Caribbean islands and Colombia. WNV has shown an increasing propensity for neuroinvasive disease over the past decade, with varied presentations including meningitis, encephalitis and acute flaccid paralysis. Although neuroinvasive disease occurs in less than 1% of infected individuals, it is associated with high mortality. From 1999–2005, more than 8,000 cases of neuroinvasive WNV disease were reported in the US, resulting in over 780 deaths. In this review, we discuss epidemiology, risk factors, clinical features, diagnosis and prognosis of WNV meningoencephalitis, along with potential treatments. PMID:16932563

  11. West Nile Virus

    MedlinePlus

    ... to human beings through their bites. Credit: CDC Biology, Genetics, & Clinical Research NIAID conducts and funds basic and clinical research on WNV biology and viral structure, ways the virus causes human ...

  12. What's West Nile Virus?

    MedlinePlus

    ... is caused by a bite from an infected mosquito that's already carrying the virus, but it's important ... the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito is greatest from July to early September. But ...

  13. West Nile Virus

    MedlinePlus

    ... appeared in the United States in 1999. Infected mosquitoes spread the virus that causes it. People who ... barrels Stay indoors between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active Use screens on windows to ...

  14. Persistence of West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Melissa N; Hasbun, Rodrigo; Murray, Kristy O

    2015-02-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a widespread global pathogen that results in significant morbidity and mortality. Data from animal models provide evidence of persistent renal and neurological infection from WNV; however, the possibility of persistent infection in humans and long-term neurological and renal outcomes related to viral persistence remain largely unknown. In this paper, we provide a review of the literature related to persistent infection in parallel with the findings from cohorts of patients with a history of WNV infection. The next steps for enhancing our understanding of WNV as a persistent pathogen are discussed.

  15. West Nile virus: North American experience

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hofmeister, Erik K.

    2011-01-01

    West Nile virus, a mosquito-vectored flavivirus of the Japanese encephalitis serogroup, was first detected in North America following an epizootic in the New York City area in 1999. In the intervening 11 years since the arrival of the virus in North America, it has crossed the contiguous USA, entered the Canadian provinces bordering the USA, and has been reported in the Caribbean islands, Mexico, Central America and, more recently, South America. West Nile virus has been reported in over 300 species of birds in the USA and has caused the deaths of thousands of birds, local population declines of some avian species, the clinical illness and deaths of thousands of domestic horses, and the clinical disease in over 30 000 Americans and the deaths of over 1000. Prior to the emergence of West Nile virus in North America, St. Louis encephalitis virus and Dengue virus were the only other known mosquito-transmitted flaviviruses in North America capable of causing human disease. This review will discuss the North American experience with mosquito-borne flavivirus prior to the arrival of West Nile virus, the entry and spread of West Nile virus in North America, effects on wild bird populations, genetic changes in the virus, and the current state of West Nile virus transmission.

  16. West Nile virus: North American experience.

    PubMed

    Hofmeister, Erik K

    2011-09-01

    West Nile virus, a mosquito-vectored flavivirus of the Japanese encephalitis serogroup, was first detected in North America following an epizootic in the New York City area in 1999. In the intervening 11 years since the arrival of the virus in North America, it has crossed the contiguous USA, entered the Canadian provinces bordering the USA, and has been reported in the Caribbean islands, Mexico, Central America and, more recently, South America. West Nile virus has been reported in over 300 species of birds in the USA and has caused the deaths of thousands of birds, local population declines of some avian species, the clinical illness and deaths of thousands of domestic horses, and the clinical disease in over 30 000 Americans and the deaths of over 1000. Prior to the emergence of West Nile virus in North America, St. Louis encephalitis virus and Dengue virus were the only other known mosquito-transmitted flaviviruses in North America capable of causing human disease. This review will discuss the North American experience with mosquito-borne flavivirus prior to the arrival of West Nile virus, the entry and spread of West Nile virus in North America, effects on wild bird populations, genetic changes in the virus, and the current state of West Nile virus transmission.

  17. West Nile Virus in California

    PubMed Central

    Lothrop, Hugh; Chiles, Robert; Madon, Minoo; Cossen, Cynthia; Woods, Leslie; Husted, Stan; Kramer, Vicki; Edman, John

    2004-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was first isolated in California during July 2003 from a pool of Culex tarsalis collected near El Centro, Imperial County. WNV transmission then increased and spread in Imperial and Coachella Valleys, where it was tracked by isolation from pools of Cx. tarsalis, seroconversions in sentinel chickens, and seroprevalence in free-ranging birds. WNV then dispersed to the city of Riverside, Riverside County, and to the Whittier Dam area of Los Angeles County, where it was detected in dead birds and pools of Cx. pipiens quinquefasciatus. By October, WNV was detected in dead birds collected from riparian corridors in Los Angeles, west to Long Beach, and through inland valleys south from Riverside to San Diego County. WNV was reported concurrently from Arizona in mid-August and from Baja, Mexico, in mid-November. Possible mechanisms for virus introduction, amplification, and dispersal are discussed. PMID:15496236

  18. FAQ: General Questions about West Nile Virus

    MedlinePlus

    ... or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). West Nile virus transmission has been documented in Europe and the Middle East, Africa, India, parts of Asia, and Australia. It was first detected ...

  19. West Nile Virus Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Siew Pheng; Shi, Pei-Yong

    2013-01-01

    The outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) in 1999 in the USA, and its continued spread throughout the Americas, parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, underscored the need for WNV antiviral development. Here, we review the current status of WNV drug discovery. A number of approaches have been used to search for inhibitors of WNV, including viral infection-based screening, enzyme-based screening, structure-based virtual screening, structure-based rationale design, and antibody-based therapy. These efforts have yielded inhibitors of viral or cellular factors that are critical for viral replication. For small molecule inhibitors, no promising preclinical candidate has been developed; most of the inhibitors could not even be advanced to the stage of hit-to-lead optimization due to their poor drug-like properties. However, several inhibitors developed for related members of the family Flaviviridae, such as dengue virus and hepatitis C virus, exhibited cross-inhibition of WNV, suggesting the possibility to re-purpose these antivirals for WNV treatment. Most promisingly, therapeutic antibodies have shown excellent efficacy in mouse model; one of such antibodies has been advanced into clinical trial. The knowledge accumulated during the past fifteen years has provided better rationale for the ongoing WNV and other flavivirus antiviral development. PMID:24300672

  20. West Nile Virus Encephalitis and Myocarditis in Wolf and Dog

    PubMed Central

    Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen; Osborne, Tanasa S.; Novak, Robert J.; Lewis, Beth A.; Firth, Margaret L.

    2003-01-01

    In the third season (2002) of the West Nile virus epidemic in the United States, two canids (wolf and dog) were diagnosed with West Nile virus encephalitis and myocarditis with similarities to known affected species (humans, horses, and birds). The West Nile virus infections were confirmed by immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction. PMID:14609468

  1. West Nile Virus: Review of the Literature

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Lyle R.; Brault, Aaron C.; Nasci, Roger S.

    2015-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Since its introduction in North America in 1999,West Nile virus has produced the 3 largest arboviral neuroinvasive disease outbreaks ever recorded in the United States. OBJECTIVE To review the ecology, virology, epidemiology, clinical characteristics, diagnosis, prevention, and control of West Nile virus, with an emphasis on North America. EVIDENCE REVIEW PubMed electronic database was searched through February 5, 2013. United States national surveillance data were gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FINDINGS West Nile virus is now endemic throughout the contiguous United States, with 16 196 human neuroinvasive disease cases and 1549 deaths reported since 1999. More than 780 000 illnesses have likely occurred. To date, incidence is highest in the Midwest from mid-July to early September. West Nile fever develops in approximately 25% of those infected, varies greatly in clinical severity, and symptoms may be prolonged. Neuroinvasive disease (meningitis, encephalitis, acute flaccid paralysis) develops in less than 1% but carries a fatality rate of approximately 10%. Encephalitis has a highly variable clinical course but often is associated with considerable long-term morbidity. Approximately two-thirds of those with paralysis remain with significant weakness in affected limbs. Diagnosis usually rests on detection of IgM antibody in serum or cerebrospinal fluid. Treatment is supportive; no licensed human vaccine exists. Prevention uses an integrated pest management approach, which focuses on surveillance, elimination of mosquito breeding sites, and larval and adult mosquito management using pesticides to keep mosquito populations low. During outbreaks or impending outbreaks, emphasis shifts to aggressive adult mosquito control to reduce the abundance of infected, biting mosquitoes. Pesticide exposure and adverse human health events following adult mosquito control operations for West Nile virus appear negligible. CONCLUSIONS AND

  2. Protective Behavior and West Nile Virus Risk

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, Susan J.; Gibson, Brian; Fearon, Margaret; Nosal, Robert; Drebot, Michael; D'Cuhna, Colin; Harrington, Daniel; Smith, Stephanie; George, Pauline; Eyles, John

    2005-01-01

    We conducted a cross-sectional, household survey in Oakville, Ontario, where an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2002 led to an unprecedented number of cases of meningitis and encephalitis. Practicing >2 personal protective behavior traits reduced the risk for WNV infection by half. PMID:16229774

  3. Vaccines in development against West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Brandler, Samantha; Tangy, Frederic

    2013-10-01

    West Nile encephalitis emerged in 1999 in the United States, then rapidly spread through the North American continent causing severe disease in human and horses. Since then, outbreaks appeared in Europe, and in 2012, the United States experienced a new severe outbreak reporting a total of 5,387 cases of West Nile virus (WNV) disease in humans, including 243 deaths. So far, no human vaccine is available to control new WNV outbreaks and to avoid worldwide spreading. In this review, we discuss the state-of-the-art of West Nile vaccine development and the potential of a novel safe and effective approach based on recombinant live attenuated measles virus (MV) vaccine. MV vaccine is a live attenuated negative-stranded RNA virus proven as one of the safest, most stable and effective human vaccines. We previously described a vector derived from the Schwarz MV vaccine strain that stably expresses antigens from emerging arboviruses, such as dengue, West Nile or chikungunya viruses, and is strongly immunogenic in animal models, even in the presence of MV pre-existing immunity. A single administration of a recombinant MV vaccine expressing the secreted form of WNV envelope glycoprotein elicited protective immunity in mice and non-human primates as early as two weeks after immunization, indicating its potential as a human vaccine.

  4. West Nile Virus: Symptoms and Treatment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Nile virus infection are available. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relieve some symptoms In severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing ...

  5. [West Nile virus and its vectors].

    PubMed

    Ozer, Nurdan

    2006-01-01

    There are more than five hundred known arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) all around the world and approximately hundred of them may cause disease in humans. During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic resurgence or emergence of epidemic arboviral diseases affecting both humans and domestic animals. Many factors play important roles in the emergence of arboviral diseases like Yellow Fever, Dengue, West Nile encephalitis, and of other diseases such as malaria and leishmaniasis in countries where they have not been previously encountered and in the increase in incidences where they have been under control. Some of these are demographic factors such as global population increase and uncontrolled urbanization; social changes such as modern transportation, human encroachment on natural disease hotspots; changes in agricultural activities such as the use of new irrigation techniques; deforestation; genetic changes in the pathogens; preventive measures and probably global climate changes. Mosquitoes are among the most important vectors carrying viruses belonging to Alphavirus, Flavivirus, Bunyavirus and Phlebovirus genera. All of the above factors have contributed to the increase in mosquito populations and closer contact between humans and mosquito vectors. West Nile virus notable after the epidemic of 1996 in Romania in Europe is one of the latest examples indicating that viruses can jump continents and produce epidemics. In this review article, the distribution of West Nile virus and its principal vectors and also its importance by means of public health, have been discussed.

  6. Systems analysis of West Nile virus infection.

    PubMed

    Suthar, Mehul S; Pulendran, Bali

    2014-06-01

    Emerging and re-emerging mosquito-borne viruses continue to pose a significant threat to human health throughout the world. Over the past decade, West Nile virus (WNV), Dengue virus (DENV), and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), have caused annual epidemics of virus-induced encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever\\shock syndromes, and arthritis, respectively. Currently, no specific antiviral therapies or vaccines exist for use in humans to combat or prevent these viral infections. Thus, there is a pressing need to define the virus-host interactions that govern immunity and infection outcome. Recent technological breakthroughs in 'omics' resources and high-throughput based assays are beginning to accelerate antiviral drug discovery and improve on current strategies for vaccine design. In this review, we highlight studies with WNV and discuss how traditional and systems biological approaches are being used to rapidly identify novel host targets for therapeutic intervention and develop a deeper conceptual understanding of the host response to virus infection.

  7. Monitoring the Spread of West Nile Virus with Satellite Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    A NASA-funded study uses temperature and vegetation data from satellites to help track and predict where West Nile virus is spreading in North America. Scientists and public health officials hope one day to use near real-time maps to focus resources and stave off the disease more efficiently. This image is a composite of land surface temperatures (LST) recorded between 1997 and 2000 and was used to help monitor and predict the spread of West Nile virus in the United States. In the color figure above, the mean land surface temperatures are in red; annual amplitude-or the difference between low and high annual temperatures-is in blue; and annual phase-or the timing of annual temperature peaks-appears in green. Brighter colors mean higher values. The major north-south temperature difference (dull red in the upper part of the image to bright red in the lower part) is considerably affected by the Rockies in the west and to a much lesser extent by the Appalachians in the east. The brighter blue in the upper part of the image indicates the big difference between highest and lowest temperatures during the course of a year at higher latitudes. There is less variation in the timing of the annual peak of land surface temperatures, which occurs earlier in the south than in the north. Black dots superimposed on this image are the locations (county geo-centers) where birds infected with West Nile virus were reported between January and October 2001. Scientists working with the International Research Partnership for Infectious Diseases (INTREPID) program based at NASA are using such imagery to define and predict the conditions where mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus in the U.S. The conclusion reached about the importance of any single variable depends both upon its value and context. A temperature of 30o Celsius (86o Fahrenheit) might be fatal for a mosquito at low humidity but survivable at higher humidities. The work done here on West Nile virus and other diseases shows very

  8. West Nile virus infection in children.

    PubMed

    Barzon, Luisa; Pacenti, Monia; Sinigaglia, Alessandro; Berto, Alessandro; Trevisan, Marta; Palù, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging flavivirus responsible for an increasing number of outbreaks of neuroinvasive disease in North America, Europe, and neighboring countries. Almost all WNV infections in humans are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Transmission during pregnancy and through breastfeeding has been reported, but the risk seems to be very low. West Nile disease in children is less common (1-5% of all WNV cases) and associated with milder symptoms and better outcome than in elderly individuals, even though severe neuroinvasive disease and death have been reported also among children. However, the incidence of WNV infection and disease in children is probably underestimated and the disease spectrum is not fully understood because of lack of reporting and underdiagnosis in children. Infection is diagnosed by detection of WNV-specific antibodies in serum and WNV RNA in plasma and urine. Since no effective WNV-specific drugs are available, therapy is mainly supportive.

  9. West Nile virus ecology in a tropical ecosystem in Guatemala.

    PubMed

    Morales-Betoulle, Maria E; Komar, Nicholas; Panella, Nicholas A; Alvarez, Danilo; López, María R; Betoulle, Jean-Luc; Sosa, Silvia M; Müller, María L; Kilpatrick, A Marm; Lanciotti, Robert S; Johnson, Barbara W; Powers, Ann M; Cordón-Rosales, Celia

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus ecology has yet to be rigorously investigated in the Caribbean Basin. We identified a transmission focus in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, and established systematic monitoring of avian abundance and infection, seroconversions in domestic poultry, and viral infections in mosquitoes. West Nile virus transmission was detected annually between May and October from 2005 to 2008. High temperature and low rainfall enhanced the probability of chicken seroconversions, which occurred in both urban and rural sites. West Nile virus was isolated from Culex quinquefasciatus and to a lesser extent, from Culex mollis/Culex inflictus, but not from the most abundant Culex mosquito, Culex nigripalpus. A calculation that combined avian abundance, seroprevalence, and vertebrate reservoir competence suggested that great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) is the major amplifying host in this ecosystem. West Nile virus transmission reached moderate levels in sentinel chickens during 2007, but less than that observed during outbreaks of human disease attributed to West Nile virus in the United States.

  10. Comparison of Immunohistochemistry and Virus Isolation for Diagnosis of West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Angela E.; Mead, Daniel G.; Allison, Andrew B.; Gibbs, Samantha E. J.; Gottdenker, Nicole L.; Stallknecht, David E.; Howerth, Elizabeth W.

    2005-01-01

    Immunohistochemistry and virus isolation were performed on 1,057 birds. Immunohistochemistry, virus isolation, or both found 325 birds to be West Nile virus positive. Of these, 271 were positive by both methods. These results indicate that virus isolation and immunohistochemistry are approximately equal in their ability to detect West Nile virus. PMID:15956415

  11. Skin manifestations of West Nile virus infection.

    PubMed

    Del Giudice, P; Schuffenecker, I; Zeller, H; Grelier, M; Vandenbos, F; Dellamonica, P; Counillon, E

    2005-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) infection is a potentially lethal arbovirus infection. Many notable outbreaks have occurred during the last few years throughout the world, including Europe and the USA. The severity of the disease is mainly related to the neurological complications. A maculopapular exanthema is reported as a clinical sign of the disease. Recently an outbreak of WNV infection occurred in southern France. Three patients out of 6 had a similar skin roseola-like eruption. The cluster of 3 cases of similar febrile roseola of unexplained cause during the same week led to the diagnosis of the first WNV human outbreak in France for 40 years. PMID:16286745

  12. West Nile virus infection in Ogbomoso: serological evidence.

    PubMed

    Kolawole, Oladipo Elijah; Kola, Oloke Julius

    2015-01-01

    A seroepidemiological study for West Nile virus was carried out in an urban and rural settlements in Ogbomoso for its IgM and IgG. Human sera was obtained and West Nile virus IgM and IgG was determined using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay technique. Out of 93 subjects tested, 19.4% and 12.9% were positive for IgG and IgM, respectively. Among the urban dwellers, 23.40% were positive for both IgG and IgM, while the rural dwellers had 15.22% for IgG and 2.17% for IgM. Test for pure antibody to West Nile virus revealed that 23.7% had the virus while 8.6% had antibodies that cross reacted for other flaviviruses. Results show that West Nile virus is circulating in Ogbomoso and its environ which might have accounted for malaria like infection in the region.

  13. West Nile Virus: Biology, Transmission, and Human Infection

    PubMed Central

    Colpitts, Tonya M.; Conway, Michael J.; Montgomery, Ruth R.

    2012-01-01

    Summary: West Nile Virus was introduced into the Western Hemisphere during the late summer of 1999 and has been causing significant and sometimes severe human diseases since that time. This article briefly touches upon the biology of the virus and provides a comprehensive review regarding recent discoveries about virus transmission, virus acquisition, and human infection and disease. PMID:23034323

  14. [West Nile virus: a reality in Mexico].

    PubMed

    Téllez, Ildefonso; Calderón, Oscar; Franco-Paredes, Carlos; del Río, Carlos

    2006-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a RNA virus of the Flaviridae, genus flavivirus family. It is a neuropathogenic virus causing disease in birds, horses and humans. WNVis transmitted by the vector mosquito Culex sp. The virus life 's cycle includes mosquitoes as vectors and birds as natural hosts. Humans are accidental hosts. Since the introduction of the Epidemiological Surveillance Program at the Ministry ofHealth. we have documented 90 positive test results among birds out of 1,223 cases studied in Mexico as of September IS. 2005. The incubation period in humans after a mosquito bite ranges from 3 to 14 days. Disease is characterized by early onset fever, general malaise, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, headaches, myalgias, enlarged lymph nodes andrash. Neurological manifestations include encephalitis andflaccid paralysis, which are present in less than 1% of subjects infected with WNV. Older patients display more adverse outcomes including death. The diagnosis is made by the determination of specific IgM and JgG antibodies in serum and/or cerebrospinal fluid. There is no antiviral treatment to date against WNV but interferon ?2b, and WNVspec4ic-immunoglobulin have been used Prevention is therefore the key to control the infection.

  15. Use of wild bird surveillance, human case data and GIS spatial analysis for predicting spatial distributions of West Nile virus in Greece.

    PubMed

    Valiakos, George; Papaspyropoulos, Konstantinos; Giannakopoulos, Alexios; Birtsas, Periklis; Tsiodras, Sotirios; Hutchings, Michael R; Spyrou, Vassiliki; Pervanidou, Danai; Athanasiou, Labrini V; Papadopoulos, Nikolaos; Tsokana, Constantina; Baka, Agoritsa; Manolakou, Katerina; Chatzopoulos, Dimitrios; Artois, Marc; Yon, Lisa; Hannant, Duncan; Petrovska, Liljana; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos; Billinis, Charalambos

    2014-01-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) is the causative agent of a vector-borne, zoonotic disease with a worldwide distribution. Recent expansion and introduction of WNV into new areas, including southern Europe, has been associated with severe disease in humans and equids, and has increased concerns regarding the need to prevent and control future WNV outbreaks. Since 2010, 524 confirmed human cases of the disease have been reported in Greece with greater than 10% mortality. Infected mosquitoes, wild birds, equids, and chickens have been detected and associated with human disease. The aim of our study was to establish a monitoring system with wild birds and reported human cases data using Geographical Information System (GIS). Potential distribution of WNV was modelled by combining wild bird serological surveillance data with environmental factors (e.g. elevation, slope, land use, vegetation density, temperature, precipitation indices, and population density). Local factors including areas of low altitude and proximity to water were important predictors of appearance of both human and wild bird cases (Odds Ratio = 1,001 95%CI = 0,723-1,386). Using GIS analysis, the identified risk factors were applied across Greece identifying the northern part of Greece (Macedonia, Thrace) western Greece and a number of Greek islands as being at highest risk of future outbreaks. The results of the analysis were evaluated and confirmed using the 161 reported human cases of the 2012 outbreak predicting correctly (Odds = 130/31 = 4,194 95%CI = 2,841-6,189) and more areas were identified for potential dispersion in the following years. Our approach verified that WNV risk can be modelled in a fast cost-effective way indicating high risk areas where prevention measures should be implemented in order to reduce the disease incidence.

  16. Use of Wild Bird Surveillance, Human Case Data and GIS Spatial Analysis for Predicting Spatial Distributions of West Nile Virus in Greece

    PubMed Central

    Valiakos, George; Papaspyropoulos, Konstantinos; Giannakopoulos, Alexios; Birtsas, Periklis; Tsiodras, Sotirios; Hutchings, Michael R.; Spyrou, Vassiliki; Pervanidou, Danai; Athanasiou, Labrini V.; Papadopoulos, Nikolaos; Tsokana, Constantina; Baka, Agoritsa; Manolakou, Katerina; Chatzopoulos, Dimitrios; Artois, Marc; Yon, Lisa; Hannant, Duncan; Petrovska, Liljana; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos; Billinis, Charalambos

    2014-01-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) is the causative agent of a vector-borne, zoonotic disease with a worldwide distribution. Recent expansion and introduction of WNV into new areas, including southern Europe, has been associated with severe disease in humans and equids, and has increased concerns regarding the need to prevent and control future WNV outbreaks. Since 2010, 524 confirmed human cases of the disease have been reported in Greece with greater than 10% mortality. Infected mosquitoes, wild birds, equids, and chickens have been detected and associated with human disease. The aim of our study was to establish a monitoring system with wild birds and reported human cases data using Geographical Information System (GIS). Potential distribution of WNV was modelled by combining wild bird serological surveillance data with environmental factors (e.g. elevation, slope, land use, vegetation density, temperature, precipitation indices, and population density). Local factors including areas of low altitude and proximity to water were important predictors of appearance of both human and wild bird cases (Odds Ratio = 1,001 95%CI = 0,723–1,386). Using GIS analysis, the identified risk factors were applied across Greece identifying the northern part of Greece (Macedonia, Thrace) western Greece and a number of Greek islands as being at highest risk of future outbreaks. The results of the analysis were evaluated and confirmed using the 161 reported human cases of the 2012 outbreak predicting correctly (Odds = 130/31 = 4,194 95%CI = 2,841–6,189) and more areas were identified for potential dispersion in the following years. Our approach verified that WNV risk can be modelled in a fast cost-effective way indicating high risk areas where prevention measures should be implemented in order to reduce the disease incidence. PMID:24806216

  17. West Nile Virus Infection of Birds, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Guerrero-Sánchez, Sergio; Cuevas-Romero, Sandra; Nemeth, Nicole M.; Trujillo-Olivera, María Teresa Jesús; Worwa, Gabriella; Dupuis, Alan; Brault, Aaron C.; Kramer, Laura D.; Komar, Nicholas

    2011-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has caused disease in humans, equids, and birds at lower frequency in Mexico than in the United States. We hypothesized that the seemingly reduced virulence in Mexico was caused by attenuation of the Tabasco strain from southeastern Mexico, resulting in lower viremia than that caused by the Tecate strain from the more northern location of Baja California. During 2006–2008, we tested this hypothesis in candidate avian amplifying hosts: domestic chickens, rock pigeons, house sparrows, great-tailed grackles, and clay-colored thrushes. Only great-tailed grackles and house sparrows were competent amplifying hosts for both strains, and deaths occurred in each species. Tecate strain viremia levels were higher for thrushes. Both strains produced low-level viremia in pigeons and chickens. Our results suggest that certain avian hosts within Mexico are competent for efficient amplification of both northern and southern WNV strains and that both strains likely contribute to bird deaths. PMID:22172633

  18. Globalization, land use and the invasion of West Nile virus

    PubMed Central

    Kilpatrick, A. Marm

    2012-01-01

    Many invasive species that have been spread through the globalization of trade and travel are infectious pathogens. A paradigmatic case is the introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) into North America in 1999. A decade of research on the ecology and evolution of WNV includes three findings that provide insight into the outcome of future viral introductions. First, WNV transmission in North America is highest in urbanized and agricultural habitats, in part because the hosts and vectors of WNV are abundant in human-modified areas. Second, after its introduction, the virus quickly adapted to infect local mosquito vectors more efficiently than the originally introduced strain. Third, highly focused feeding patterns of the mosquito vectors of WNV result in unexpected host species being important for transmission. These findings provide a framework for predicting and preventing the emergence of foreign vector-borne pathogens. PMID:22021850

  19. Globalization, land use, and the invasion of West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Kilpatrick, A Marm

    2011-10-21

    Many invasive species that have been spread through the globalization of trade and travel are pathogens. A paradigmatic case is the introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) into North America in 1999. A decade of research on the ecology and evolution of WNV includes three findings that provide insight into the outcome of future pathogen introductions. First, WNV transmission in North America is highest in urbanized and agricultural habitats, in part because the hosts and vectors of WNV are abundant in human-modified areas. Second, after its introduction, the virus quickly adapted to infect local mosquito vectors more efficiently than the originally introduced strain. Third, highly focused feeding patterns of the mosquito vectors of WNV result in unexpected host species being important for transmission. This research provides a framework for predicting and preventing the emergence of foreign vector-borne pathogens.

  20. Spatial Analysis of West Nile Virus: Predictive Risk Modeling of a Vector-borne Infectious Disease in Illinois by Means of NASA Earth Observation Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Renneboog, Nathan; Gathings, David; Hemmings, Sarah; Makasa, Emmanuel; Omer, Wigdan; Tipre, Meghan; Wright, Catherine; McAllister, Marilyn; Luvall, Jeffrey C.

    2009-01-01

    West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus of the family Flaviviridae. It infects birds and various mammals, including humans, and can cause encephalitis that may prove fatal, notably among vulnerable populations. Since its identification in New York City in 1999, WNV has become established in a broad range of ecological settings throughout North America, infecting more than 25,300 people and killing 1133 as of 2008 (CDC,2009). WNV is transmitted by mosquitoes that feed on infected birds. As a result, the degree of human infection depends on local ecology and human exposure. This study hypothesizes that remote sensing and GIS can be used to analyze environmental determinants of WNV transmission, such as climate, elevation, land cover, and vegetation densities, to map areas of WNV risk for surveillance and intervention.

  1. Recent progress in West Nile virus diagnosis and vaccination.

    PubMed

    De Filette, Marina; Ulbert, Sebastian; Diamond, Mike; Sanders, Niek N

    2012-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a positive-stranded RNA virus belonging to the Flaviviridae family, a large family with 3 main genera (flavivirus, hepacivirus and pestivirus). Among these viruses, there are several globally relevant human pathogens including the mosquito-borne dengue virus (DENV), yellow fever virus (YFV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and West Nile virus (WNV), as well as tick-borne viruses such as tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Since the mid-1990s, outbreaks of WN fever and encephalitis have occurred throughout the world and WNV is now endemic in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and the Unites States. This review describes the molecular virology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and highlights recent progress regarding diagnosis and vaccination against WNV infections.

  2. Safety of West Nile Virus vaccines in sandhill crane chicks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsen, G.H.; Miller, K.J.; Docherty, D.E.; Bochsler, V.S.; Folk, Martin J.; Nesbitt, Stephen A.

    2008-01-01

    West Nile virus arrived in North America in 1999 and has spread across the continent in the ensuing years. The virus has proven deadly to a variety of native avian species including sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis). In order to provide safe and efficacious protection for captive and released populations of whooping cranes (G. americana), we have conducted a series of four research projects. The last of these was a study of the effects of two different West Nile virus vaccines on young Florida sandhill crane (G. c. pratensis) chicks and subsequent challenge with the virus. We found that vaccinating crane chicks as early as day 7 post-hatch caused no adverse reactions or noticeable morbidity. We tested both a commercial equine vaccine West Nile - Innovator (Fort Dodge Laboratories, Fort Dodge, Iowa) and a new recombinant DNA vaccine (Centers for Disease Control). We had a 33% mortality in control chicks (n =6) from West Nile virus infection, versus 0% mortality in two groups of vaccinated chicks (n = 12), indicating the two vaccines tested were not only safe but effective in preventing West Nile virus.

  3. [West Nile virus transmission risk in the Czech Republic].

    PubMed

    Vlčková, J; Rupeš, V; Horáková, D; Kollárová, H; Holý, O

    2015-06-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) belongs to the family Flaviviridae. It is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, capable of sucking blood on birds and mammals, most often by mosquitoes of the genus Culex. In humans, the virus was first identified in 1937 in the West Nile region, Uganda, Africa. Later, the virus spread and caused more or less severe epidemics of West Nile fever in North Africa, Europe, Asia, and North and South America. During the last two decades, WNV has been on the rise and is currently ranked as one of the most prevalent arboviruses in the world. In humans, WNV infection mostly occurs as asymptomatic, but may have a more severe or even fatal course in older and weakened patients. Humans may become infected not only by mosquitoes that acquire the virus from infected birds, but also through a blood transfusion, organ transplant, breast milk and transplacental transmission, or contact with infected animals, their blood, and tissues. The first autochthonous human case of West Nile fever in the Czech Republic was reported from South Moravia in 1997. In 2013, another case of West Nile fever emerged in this country, in the Ostrava area. The issue of WNV has recently been studied from many different perspectives, as evidenced by many original and review papers. This article briefly reviews the essential knowledge about this virus and its spread.

  4. West Nile Virus Ecology in a Tropical Ecosystem in Guatemala

    PubMed Central

    Morales-Betoulle, Maria E.; Komar, Nicholas; Panella, Nicholas A.; Alvarez, Danilo; López, María R.; Betoulle, Jean-Luc; Sosa, Silvia M.; Müller, María L.; Kilpatrick, A. Marm; Lanciotti, Robert S.; Johnson, Barbara W.; Powers, Ann M.; Cordón-Rosales, Celia

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus ecology has yet to be rigorously investigated in the Caribbean Basin. We identified a transmission focus in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, and established systematic monitoring of avian abundance and infection, seroconversions in domestic poultry, and viral infections in mosquitoes. West Nile virus transmission was detected annually between May and October from 2005 to 2008. High temperature and low rainfall enhanced the probability of chicken seroconversions, which occurred in both urban and rural sites. West Nile virus was isolated from Culex quinquefasciatus and to a lesser extent, from Culex mollis/Culex inflictus, but not from the most abundant Culex mosquito, Culex nigripalpus. A calculation that combined avian abundance, seroprevalence, and vertebrate reservoir competence suggested that great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) is the major amplifying host in this ecosystem. West Nile virus transmission reached moderate levels in sentinel chickens during 2007, but less than that observed during outbreaks of human disease attributed to West Nile virus in the United States. PMID:23149586

  5. Equine vaccine for West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Ng, T; Hathaway, D; Jennings, N; Champ, D; Chiang, Y W; Chu, H J

    2003-01-01

    To meet the urgent need of controlling West Nile virus (WNV) infection in the equine population, we have developed a killed WNV vaccine. A dose titration study in horses was first conducted to evaluate serum neutralization antibody responses against WNV in these animals. Horses were vaccinated intramuscularly twice with the test vaccine at low, medium and high dose, three weeks apart. Serum samples were collected periodically and were measured for serum neutralizing antibody using a plaque reduction neutralization test. Significant increases in serum neutralizing antibody were detected in all three dosage groups 14 days post the second vaccination. Twelve months after the second vaccination, horses vaccinated with the medium dose of WNV vaccine and non-vaccinated control horses were experimentally challenged with WNV. Nine out of 11 (81.8%) controls developed viraemia after challenge while only one out of 19 (5.3%) vaccinates had transient viraemia, representing a 94% preventable fraction. In a separate study, the safety of the killed WNV vaccine was demonstrated under field conditions. A total of 648 horses, including 32 pregnant mares, were enrolled in the study. During the two weeks post vaccination period, no local or systemic adverse reactions were observed following 96% of the vaccinations administered while mild, transient injection site reactions were noted in a small number of horses. These results indicate that the killed WNV vaccine developed by Fort Dodge Animal Health is safe and efficacious.

  6. West Nile virus: should pediatricians care?

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer C; Mailman, Tim; MacDonald, Noni E

    2014-11-01

    Given the recurrent serious outbreaks of West Nile Virus (WNV) in the United States over the past decade, the spread to Canada and South America, the recurrent outbreaks in Europe, and the potential for serious neurological disease even in children under 18 years, paediatricians in affected areas must consider WNV in the differential diagnosis of all children presenting with aseptic meningitis, encephalitis and acute flaccid paralysis. Additionally, given that WNV encephalitis can occur after WNV infection, suspicion for neurological WNV disease must remain high even after otherwise benign febrile illnesses if the child lives in or has traveled to an affected region. Under-diagnosis in the pediatric population is likely a serious problem, necessitating further educational efforts. More follow-up studies of WNV neurological disease in children and youth are needed to better understand the potential long-term sequelae during vulnerable times of neurodevelopment and neural remodeling. Similarly, more research is need on short and long-term fetal outcomes of maternal WNV infection.

  7. Host heterogeneity dominates West Nile virus transmission

    PubMed Central

    Marm Kilpatrick, A; Daszak, Peter; Jones, Matthew J; Marra, Peter P; Kramer, Laura D

    2006-01-01

    Heterogeneity in host populations and communities can have large effects on the transmission and control of a pathogen. In extreme cases, a few individuals give rise to the majority of secondary infections, which have been termed super spreading events. Here, we show that transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) is dominated by extreme heterogeneity in the host community, resulting in highly inflated reproductive ratios. A single relatively uncommon avian species, American robin (Turdus migratorius), appeared to be responsible for the majority of WNV-infectious mosquitoes and acted as the species equivalent of a super spreader for this multi-host pathogen. Crows were also highly preferred by mosquitoes at some sites, while house sparrows were significantly avoided. Nonetheless, due to their relative rarity, corvids (crows and jays) were relatively unimportant in WNV amplification. These results challenge current beliefs about the role of certain avian species in WNV amplification and demonstrate the importance of determining contact rates between vectors and host species to understand pathogen transmission dynamics. PMID:16928635

  8. West Nile Virus: is a vaccine needed?

    PubMed

    Martina, Byron E E; Koraka, Penelope; Osterhaus, Albert D M E

    2010-02-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic Flavivirus that was associated with sporadic outbreaks of meningoencephalitis in Africa and the Middle East until 1999, when a more virulent strain emerged in the US that caused thousands of infections among humans and horses, with reported fatality rates between 10 and 50%. Although the epidemiology of WNV is changing into a more endemic pattern in the US, and the incidence of neuroinvasive disease is decreasing, the long-term effects of resolved WNV infections in humans, characterized as persistent movement disorders and various functional disabilities, are a significant cause of morbidity. In addition, the horse industry is also negatively impacted by WNV infections, resulting in significant economic losses. Together with the fact that WNV is a potential bioterrorism agent, these factors suggest that there is a need for the development of a safe and effective vaccine against WNV. The increased understanding of WNV pathogenesis and correlates of protection enables the rational design of such a vaccine. Several experimental vaccines have been tested in preclinical models and some have undergone clinical trials. The challenges related to the development of cheaper, safer and more effective vaccines for use in both humans and horses are likely to be overcome by new technological developments in the field of vaccinology.

  9. Avian hosts of West Nile virus in Arizona.

    PubMed

    Komar, Nicholas; Panella, Nicholas A; Young, Ginger R; Brault, Aaron C; Levy, Craig E

    2013-09-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) causes sporadic outbreaks of human encephalitis in Phoenix, Arizona. To identify amplifying hosts of WNV in the Phoenix area, we blood-sampled resident birds and measured antibody prevalence following an outbreak in the East Valley of metropolitan Phoenix during summer, 2010. House sparrow (Passer domesticus), house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus), great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), and mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) accounted for most WNV infections among locally resident birds. These species roost communally after early summer breeding. In September 2010, Culex vector-avian host contact was 3-fold greater at communal bird roosts compared with control sites, as determined by densities of resting mosquitoes with previous vertebrate contact (i.e., blood-engorged or gravid mosquitoes). Because of the low competence of mourning doves, these were considered weak amplifiers but potentially effective free-ranging sentinels. Highly competent sparrows, finches, and grackles were predicted to be key amplifying hosts for WNV in suburban Phoenix. PMID:23857022

  10. Avian Hosts of West Nile Virus in Arizona

    PubMed Central

    Komar, Nicholas; Panella, Nicholas A.; Young, Ginger R.; Brault, Aaron C.; Levy, Craig E.

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) causes sporadic outbreaks of human encephalitis in Phoenix, Arizona. To identify amplifying hosts of WNV in the Phoenix area, we blood-sampled resident birds and measured antibody prevalence following an outbreak in the East Valley of metropolitan Phoenix during summer, 2010. House sparrow (Passer domesticus), house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus), great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), and mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) accounted for most WNV infections among locally resident birds. These species roost communally after early summer breeding. In September 2010, Culex vector-avian host contact was 3-fold greater at communal bird roosts compared with control sites, as determined by densities of resting mosquitoes with previous vertebrate contact (i.e., blood-engorged or gravid mosquitoes). Because of the low competence of mourning doves, these were considered weak amplifiers but potentially effective free-ranging sentinels. Highly competent sparrows, finches, and grackles were predicted to be key amplifying hosts for WNV in suburban Phoenix. PMID:23857022

  11. A Review of Vaccine Approaches for West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Arun V.; Kousoulas, Konstantin G.

    2013-01-01

    The West Nile virus (WNC) first appeared in North America in 1999. The North American lineages of WNV were characterized by the presence of neuroinvasive and neurovirulent strains causing disease and death in humans, birds and horses. The 2012 WNV season in the United States saw a massive spike in the number of neuroinvasive cases and deaths similar to what was seen in the 2002–2003 season, according to the West Nile virus disease cases and deaths reported to the CDC by year and clinical presentation, 1999–2012, by ArboNET (Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In addition, the establishment and recent spread of lineage II WNV virus strains into Western Europe and the presence of neurovirulent and neuroinvasive strains among them is a cause of major concern. This review discusses the advances in the development of vaccines and biologicals to combat human and veterinary West Nile disease. PMID:24025396

  12. Genetic susceptibility to West Nile virus and dengue.

    PubMed

    Loeb, M

    2013-01-01

    This article focuses on the host genetic predisposition to 2 viruses, West Nile virus and dengue virus, which belong to the genus Flavivirus. Although by definition these viruses have shared characteristics (e.g. similar size, single stranded, RNA viruses, both transmitted by the bite from an infected mosquito), they differ greatly in epidemiology and clinical manifestations. The text below not only summarizes the genetic factors that predispose to complications of these 2 important flaviviruses, but also illustrates the challenges in determining the genomic basis for complications to these viruses.

  13. Development of effective therapies against West Nile virus infection.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Michael S

    2005-12-01

    Since its entry into North America in 1999, West Nile virus has spread throughout the USA and Canada, and now annually causes a clinical spectrum of human disease ranging from a self-limiting acute febrile illness to potentially lethal encephalitis. Although no therapy is currently approved for use in humans, several strategies are being pursued to develop effective prophylaxis and treatments. This review describes the epidemiology, clinical presentation and pathogenesis of West Nile virus infection, and highlights recent progress towards an effective therapy.

  14. Functional Analysis of West Nile Virus Proteins in Human Cells.

    PubMed

    Kaufusi, Pakieli H; Tseng, Alanna; Nerurkar, Vivek R

    2016-01-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) lineage 2 strains have been responsible for large outbreaks of neuroinvasive disease in the United States and Europe between 1999 and 2012. Different strains in this lineage have previously been shown to produce either severe or mild neuroinvasive disease in mice. Phylogenetic and amino acid comparisons between highly or less virulent lineage 2 strains have demonstrated that the nonstructural (NS) gene(s) were most variable. However, the roles of some of the NS proteins in virus life cycle are unknown. The aim of this chapter is to describe simple computational and experimental approaches that can be used to: (1) explore the possible roles of the NS proteins in virus life cycle and (2) test whether the subtle amino acid changes in WNV NS gene products contributed to the evolution of more virulent strains. The computational approaches include methods based on: (1) sequence similarity, (2) sequence motifs, and (3) protein membrane topology predictions. Highlighted experimental procedures include: (1) isolation of viral RNA from WNV-infected cells, (2) cDNA synthesis and PCR amplification of WNV genes, (3) cloning into GFP expression vector, (4) bacterial transformation, (5) plasmid isolation and purification, (6) transfection using activated dendrimers (Polyfect), and (7) immunofluorescence staining of transfected mammalian cells. PMID:27188549

  15. Corvidae feather pulp and West Nile virus detection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Docherty, D.E.; Romaine Long, R.; Griffin, Katie M.; Saito, E.K.

    2004-01-01

    We evaluated cloacal swab, vascular pulp of flight feather, and kidney and spleen pool samples from carcasses of members of the family Corvidae as sources of West Nile virus (WNV). The cloacal swab, kidney and spleen pool, and feather pulp were the source of WNV in 38%, 43%, and 77%, respectively, of the carcasses.

  16. Assays to Detect West Nile Virus in Dead Birds

    PubMed Central

    Therrien, Joseph E.; Benson, Robert; Kramer, Laura; Kauffman, Elizabeth B.; Eidson, Millicent; Campbell, Scott

    2005-01-01

    Using oral swab samples to detect West Nile virus in dead birds, we compared the Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform (RAMP) assay with VecTest and real-time reverse-transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction. The sensitivities of RAMP and VecTest for testing corvid species were 91.0% and 82.1%, respectively. PMID:16318736

  17. Antibody Prevalence of West Nile Virus in Birds, Illinois, 2002

    PubMed Central

    Blitvich, Bradley J.; Koo, Hyun-Young; Van de Wyngaerde, Marshall; Brawn, Jeff D.; Novak, Robert J.

    2004-01-01

    Antibodies to West Nile virus were detected in 94 of 1,784 Illinois birds during 2002. Captive and urban birds had higher seropositivity than did birds from natural areas, and northern and central Illinois birds’ seropositivity was greater than that from birds from the southern sites. Adult and hatch-year exposure rates did not differ significantly. PMID:15207067

  18. Serologic Evidence of West Nile Virus Transmission, Jamaica, West Indies

    PubMed Central

    Marra, Peter P.; Kramer, Laura D.

    2003-01-01

    In spring 2002, an intensive avian serosurvey was initiated in Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. We collected >1,600 specimens from resident and nonresident neotropical migratory birds before their northerly migrations. Plaque reduction neutralization test results indicated specific neutralizing antibodies to West Nile virus in 11 resident species from Jamaica. PMID:12890329

  19. West Nile Virus in Horses, sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Grandadam, Marc; Marié, Jean-Lou; Gravier, Patrick; Prangé, Aurélie; Santinelli, Yan; Rous, Vincent; Bourry, Olivier; Durand, Jean-Paul; Tolou, Hugues; Davoust, Bernard

    2006-01-01

    To evaluate the presence and extension of West Nile virus where French soldiers are stationed in Africa, specific antibody prevalence was determined by using ELISA and Western blot. Among 245 horses living in close proximity to the soldiers, seroprevalence was particularly high in Chad (97%) and Senegal (92%). PMID:17326952

  20. West Nile virus antibody prevalence in wild mammals, southern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Docherty, D.E.; Samuel, M.D.; Nolden, C.A.; Egstad, Kristina F.; Griffin, K.M.

    2006-01-01

    Twenty percent prevalence of West Nile virus antibody was found in free-ranging medium-sized Wisconsin mammals. No significant differences were noted in antibody prevalence with regard to sex, age, month of collection, or species. Our results suggest a similar route of infection in these mammals.

  1. West Nile virus infection in killer whale, Texas, USA, 2007.

    PubMed

    St Leger, Judy; Wu, Guang; Anderson, Mark; Dalton, Les; Nilson, Erika; Wang, David

    2011-08-01

    In 2007, nonsuppurative encephalitis was identified in a killer whale at a Texas, USA, marine park. Panviral DNA microarray of brain tissue suggested West Nile virus (WNV); WNV was confirmed by reverse transcription PCR and sequencing. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated WNV antigen within neurons. WNV should be considered in cases of encephalitis in cetaceans. PMID:21801643

  2. Outbreak of West Nile Virus Infection in Greece, 2010

    PubMed Central

    Papa, Anna; Theocharopoulos, George; Dougas, Georgios; Athanasiou, Maria; Detsis, Marios; Baka, Agoritsa; Lytras, Theodoros; Mellou, Kassiani; Bonovas, Stefanos; Panagiotopoulos, Takis

    2011-01-01

    During 2010, an outbreak of West Nile virus infection occurred in Greece. A total of 197 patients with neuroinvasive disease were reported, of whom 33 (17%) died. Advanced age and a history of heart disease were independently associated with death, emphasizing the need for prevention of this infection in persons with these risk factors. PMID:22000357

  3. West Nile Virus Infection in Humans and Horses, Cuba

    PubMed Central

    Guzmán, Maria Guadalupe; Fernández, Roberto; Llop, Alina; Dickinson, Félix Orlando; Pérez, Daniel; Cruz, Raúl; González, Tayri; Estévez, Gonzalo; González, Hiram; Santos, Paulino; Kourí, Gustavo; Andonova, Maya; Lindsay, Robbin; Artsob, Harvey; Drebot, Michael

    2006-01-01

    A surveillance system to detect West Nile virus (WNV) was established in Cuba in 2002. WNV infection was confirmed by serologic assays in 4 asymptomatic horses and 3 humans with encephalitis in 2003 and 2004. These results are the first reported evidence of WNV activity in Cuba. PMID:16707068

  4. Domestic goose model for West Nile virus vaccine efficiency testing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    West Nile virus (WNV) is an emergent pathogen in the Americas, first reported in New York during 1999, and has since spread across the United States (USA), Central and South America causing neurological disease in humans, horses and some bird species, including domestic geese. No WNV vaccines are li...

  5. Phylogenetic Relationships of Southern African West Nile Virus Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Grobbelaar, Antoinette A.; Leman, Patricia A.; Anthony, Fiona S.; Gibson, Georgina V.F.; Swanepoel, Robert

    2002-01-01

    Phylogenetic relationships were examined for 29 southern African West Nile virus (formal name West Nile virus [WNV]) isolates from various sources in four countries from 1958 to 2001. In addition sequence data were retrieved from GenBank for another 23 WNV isolates and Kunjin and Japanese encephalitis viruses. All isolates belonged to two lineages. Lineage 1 isolates were from central and North Africa, Europe, Israel, and North America; lineage 2 isolates were from central and southern Africa and Madagascar. No strict correlation existed between grouping and source of virus isolate, pathogenicity, geographic distribution, or year of isolation. Some southern African isolates have been associated with encephalitis in a human, a horse, and a dog and with fatal hepatitis in a human and death of an ostrich chick. PMID:12141968

  6. Ecology of West Nile Virus in North America

    PubMed Central

    Reisen, William K.

    2013-01-01

    The introduction, dispersal and establishment of West Nile virus in North America were reviewed, focusing on factors that may have enhanced receptivity and enabled the invasion process. The overwintering persistence of this tropical virus within temperate latitudes was unexpected, but was key in the transition from invasion to endemic establishment. The cascade of temporal events allowing sporadic amplification to outbreak levels was discussed within a future perspective. PMID:24008376

  7. Purpura fulminans associated with acute West Nile virus encephalitis.

    PubMed

    Shah, Sheevam; Fite, Laura Paul; Lane, Natalie; Parekh, Palak

    2016-02-01

    Purpura fulminans is a progressive thrombotic disorder that presents with widespread purpura due to deficiency or dysfunction of protein C or protein S. Lesions present as well-demarcated erythematous macules that progress to irregular areas of hemorrhagic necrosis.West Nile virus is a member of the Flaviviridae family transmitted to humans through the bite of various mosquito species. It manifests as West Nile fever in 25% of those infected and less commonly as neuroinvasive disease. An African American man in his fortiespresented with altered mental status and was noted to have evidence of disseminated intravascular coagulation according to his lab data. He then developed dusky skin discoloration and systemic flaccid bullae with desquamation. Biopsy was consistent with purpura fulminans and the patient eventually developed symmetric peripheral gangrene, requiring amputations of all four extremities. Infectious work up revealed positive testing for IgM and IgG antibodies in serum and cerebrospinal fluid leading to the diagnosis of acute West Nile Virus encephalitis. We present this case to describe the rarely reported association of purpura fulminans with West Nile Virus infection.

  8. Serological investigation for West Nile virus, Anaplasma ovis and Leishmania infantum in Greek cattle.

    PubMed

    Giadinis, Nektarios; Katsoulos, Panagiotis; Chochlakis, Dimosthenis; Tselentis, Yannis; Ntais, Pantelis; Lafi, Shawkat; Karatzias, Harilaos; Psaroulaki, Anna

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates the seroprevalence of Greek adult cattle against West Nile virus, Anaplasma ovis and Lehismania infantum. In total, 156 serum samples were examined, drawn from cattle between 2-4 years old. All the examined cattle originated from slaughterhouses of 4 prefectures in Northern Greece (Thessaloniki, Pella, Chalkidiki, Kilkis), in 2 of which (Thessaloniki, Pella) human cases of West Nile virus had been recorded some months before. Thirty out of the 156 (18.6%) samples have tested positive for West Nile virus and fifty-five (35.9%) samples for Anaplasma ovis. All the examined samples tested negative for Leishmania infantum. The prefectures with positive samples against West Nile virus also showed human cases of West Nile virus infections. This should raise questions whether cattle could become markers for West Nile virus activity in high risk areas.

  9. Chronic West Nile virus infection in kea (Nestor notabilis).

    PubMed

    Bakonyi, Tamás; Gajdon, Gyula K; Schwing, Raoul; Vogl, Wolfgang; Häbich, Annett-Carolin; Thaller, Denise; Weissenböck, Herbert; Rudolf, Ivo; Hubálek, Zdenek; Nowotny, Norbert

    2016-02-01

    Six kea (Nestor notabilis) in human care, naturally infected with West Nile virus (WNV) lineage 2 in Vienna, Austria, in 2008, developed mild to fatal neurological signs. WNV RNA persisted and the virus evolved in the birds' brains, as demonstrated by (phylo)genetic analyses of the complete viral genomes detected in kea euthanized between 2009 and 2014. WNV antibodies persisted in the birds, too. Chronic WNV infection in the brain might contribute to the circulation of the virus through oral transmission to predatory birds.

  10. Isolation of two strains of West Nile virus during an outbreak in southern Russia, 1999.

    PubMed Central

    Lvov, D. K.; Butenko, A. M.; Gromashevsky, V. L.; Larichev, V. P.; Gaidamovich, S. Y.; Vyshemirsky, O. I.; Zhukov, A. N.; Lazorenko, V. V.; Salko, V. N.; Kovtunov, A. I.; Galimzyanov, K. M.; Platonov, A. E.; Morozova, T. N.; Khutoretskaya, N. V.; Shishkina, E. O.; Skvortsova, T. M.

    2000-01-01

    From July to September 1999, a widespread outbreak of meningoencephalitis associated with West Nile virus (Flavivirus, Flaviviridae) occurred in southern Russia, with hundreds of cases and dozens of deaths. Two strains of West Nile virus isolated from patient serum and brain-tissue samples reacted in hemagglutination-inhibition and neutralization tests with patients' convalescent-phase sera and immune ascites fluid from other strains of West Nile virus. PMID:10905970

  11. Ixodid and Argasid Tick Species and West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Uzcátegui, Nathalie Yumari; Gould, Ernest Andrew; Nuttall, Patricia Anne

    2004-01-01

    Control of West Nile virus (WNV) can only be effective if the vectors and reservoirs of the virus are identified and controlled. Although mosquitoes are the primary vectors, WNV has repeatedly been isolated from ticks. Therefore tick-borne transmission studies were performed with an ixodid (Ixodes ricinus) and an argasid tick species (Ornithodoros moubata). Both species became infected after feeding upon viremic hosts, but I. ricinus ticks were unable to maintain the virus. In contrast, O. moubata ticks were infected for at least 132 days, and the infection was maintained through molting and a second bloodmeal. Infected O. moubata ticks transmitted the virus to rodent hosts, albeit at a low level. Moreover, the virus was nonsystemically transmitted between infected and uninfected O. moubata ticks co-fed upon uninfected hosts. Although ticks are unlikely to play a major role in WNV transmission, our findings suggest that some species have the potential to act as reservoirs for the virus. PMID:15200855

  12. Alexander the Great and West Nile virus encephalitis.

    PubMed

    Marr, John S; Calisher, Charles H

    2003-12-01

    Alexander the Great died in Babylon in 323 BC. His death at age 32 followed a 2-week febrile illness. Speculated causes of death have included poisoning; assassination, and a number of infectious diseases. One incident, mentioned by Plutarch but not considered by previous investigators, may shed light on the cause of Alexander's death. The incident, which occurred as he entered Babylon, involved a flock of ravens exhibiting unusual behavior and subsequently dying at his feet. The inexplicable behavior of ravens is reminiscent of avian illness and death weeks before the first human cases of West Nile virus infection were identified in the United States. We posit that Alexander may have died of West Nile virus encephalitis.

  13. A Security Guard With West Nile Virus Encephalitis.

    PubMed

    Smith, Letha

    2016-01-01

    A 57-year-old male working as a security supervisor in an office building was seen for return to work by the on-site occupational health nurse. He was observed to have slow gait as he entered the clinic waiting area, was pale, diaphoretic, and slow in responding to questions. His return to work note stated he was recovering from West Nile Virus (WNV). Implications for return to work are presented.

  14. Hydroclimatic Assessment of West Nile Virus Occurrence Across Continental US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billian, H. E.; Jutla, A.; Colwell, R. R.

    2014-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is the most widely infections from arbovirus in mid-latitudes, having reached the Western Hemisphere in 1999. As a vector-borne disease, WNV is primarily spread by mosquitoes; the disease is predominantly found in tropical and temperate regions of the world, and is now considered an endemic pathogen in the United States, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe. Environmental processes play a vital role in the trigger of WNV. Here, using logistical regression models, we quantified relationships between hydroclimatic processes and mosquito abundance for WNV across the continental USA using precipitation and temperature at different spatial and temporal scales. It will be shown that reported cases of this disease are more prevalent during spring and summer months in the entire country, when there is more precipitation and higher surface air temperatures for 2003 to 2013. The key impacts of this research are those related to the improvement of human health, and a means to predict mosquito breeding patterns long term as they relate to the prevalence of vector-borne illnesses.

  15. Potential for New York mosquitoes to transmit West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Turell, M J; O'Guinn, M; Oliver, J

    2000-03-01

    We evaluated the potential for several North American mosquito species to transmit the newly introduced West Nile (WN) virus. Mosquitoes collected in the New York City Metropolitan Area during the recent (1999) WN outbreak were allowed to feed on chickens infected with WN virus isolated from a crow that had died during this outbreak. These mosquitoes were tested approximately 2 weeks later to determine infection, dissemination, and transmission rates. Culex pipiens mosquitoes were highly susceptible to infection, and nearly all individuals with a disseminated infection did transmit WN virus by bite. In contrast, Aedes vexans were only moderately susceptible to oral infection; however, those individuals inoculated with WN virus did transmit virus by bite.

  16. Exploration of West Nile Virus Infection in Mouse Models.

    PubMed

    Wang, Penghua

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) causes neurological diseases by penetrating the central nervous system (CNS)-an immune-privileged system. Although the CNS residential cells can produce antiviral immune responses, the blood leukocytes are required to contain virus spread. However, infiltrating leukocytes may also contribute to immunopathology if they overreact. Thus analyses of WNV infectivity and leukocyte numbers in the CNS are critical for understanding of WNV pathogenesis in experimental mouse models. Here I describe two basic assays for quantification of viral titers and infiltrating leukocytes in the mouse brain after WNV infection.

  17. Hydrologic variability and the dynamics of West Nile virus transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaman, J. L.

    2011-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) first emerged in North America in New York City during 1999 and since that time has spread throughout the continent and settled into a pattern of local endemicity in which outbreaks of variable size develop in some years but not others. Predicting where and when these outbreaks will develop is an issue of considerable public health importance. Spillover transmission of WNV to humans typically occurs when infection rates among vector mosquitoes are elevated. Mosquito infection rates are not constant through time but instead increase when newly emergent mosquitoes can more readily acquire WNV by blood-meal feeding on available, infected animal hosts. Such an increase of vector mosquito infection rates is termed amplification and is facilitated for WNV by intense zoonotic transmission of the virus among vector mosquitoes and avian hosts. Theory, observation and model simulations indicate that amplification is favored when mosquito breeding habitats and bird nesting and roosting habitats overlap. Both vector mosquitoes and vertebrate hosts depend on water resources; mosquitoes are critically dependent on the availability of standing water, as the first 3 stages of the mosquito life cycle, egg, larvae, pupae, are aquatic. Here it is shown that hydrologic variability often determines where and when vector mosquitoes and avian hosts congregate together, and when the amplification of WNV is more likely. Measures of land surface wetness and pooling, from ground observation, satellite observation, or numerical modeling, can provide reliable estimates of where and when WNV transmission hotspots will arise. Examples of this linkage between hydrology and WNV activity are given for Florida, Colorado and New York, and an operational system for monitoring and forecasting WNV risk in space and time is presented for Florida.

  18. First molecular analysis of West Nile virus during the 2013 outbreak in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Kurolt, Ivan C; Krajinović, Vladimir; Topić, Antea; Kuzman, Ilija; Baršić, Bruno; Markotić, Alemka

    2014-08-30

    This is the second subsequent year of West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND) outbreak in Croatia. Between July and October 2013, 22 patients presented with symptoms of WNND: all with meningitis and 18 additionally with encephalitis. In contrast to 2012, where six autochthonous infections were confirmed in eastern Croatia, the majority of this year's cases occurred in and around the city of Zagreb, where no West Nile virus infections have been observed before. Viral RNA was recovered from two patients and phylogenetic analyses revealed West Nile virus lineage 2. This represents the first molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of the circulating West Nile virus strain in Croatia.

  19. West Nile Virus Surveillance in the Lombardy Region, Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Chiari, M; Prosperi, A; Faccin, F; Avisani, D; Cerioli, M; Zanoni, M; Bertoletti, M; Moreno, A M; Bruno, R; Monaco, F; Farioli, M; Lelli, D; Lavazza, A

    2015-08-01

    In 2013, the circulation of West Nile virus (WNV) was detected in the Lombardy region and the following year a surveillance programme was activated with the aim of early identification of the viral distribution in mosquitoes and wild birds. A total of 50 959 Culex spp. mosquitoes grouped in six hundred and forty-seven pools as well as 1400 birds were screened by RT-PCR for the presence of West Nile virus leading to the identification of the viral genome in 32 mosquito pools and 13 wild birds. The surveillance was able to detect the WNV circulation on an average of 42 days (CI 95% 29.98-53.86; Student's t-distribution) before the occurrence of human West Nile disease (WND) cases in the same area. These results demonstrate the presence of WNV in the Lombardy region and confirm entomological and wild birds surveillance as an effective measure for the early identification of WNV circulation in infected areas, thus providing a useful and cost-effective tool for the public health authorities in the application of measures to prevent human infection.

  20. West Nile virus in livestock and wildlife.

    PubMed

    McLean, R G; Ubico, S R; Bourne, D; Komar, N

    2002-01-01

    WN virus is one of the most ubiquitous arboviruses occurring over a broad geographical range and in a wide diversity of vertebrate host and vector species. The virus appears to be maintained in endemic foci on the African continent and is transported annually to temperate climates to the north in Europe and to the south in South Africa. Reports of clinical disease due to natural WN virus infection in wild or domestic animals were much less common than reports of infection (virus isolation or antibody detection). Until recently, records of morbidity and mortality in wild birds were confined to a small number of cases and infections causing encephalitis, sometimes fatal, in horses were reported infrequently. In the period 1996-2001, there was an increase in outbreaks of illness due to WN virus in animals as well as humans. Within the traditional range of WN virus, encephalitis was reported in horses in Italy in 1998 and in France in 2000. The first report of disease and deaths caused by WN virus infection in domestic birds was reported in Israel in 1997-1999, involving hundreds of young geese. In 1999 WN virus reached North America and caused an outbreak of encephalitis in humans in the New York area at the same time as a number of cases of equine encephalitis and deaths in American crows and a variety of other bird species, both North American natives and exotics. Multi-state surveillance for WN virus has been in place since April 2000 and has resulted in the detection of WN virus in thousands of dead birds from an increasing number of species in North America, and also in several species of mammals. The surveillance system that has developed in North America because of the utility of testing dead birds for the rapid detection of WN virus presence has been a unique integration of public health and wildlife health agencies. It has been suggested that the recent upsurge in clinical WN virus infection in wild and domestic animals as well as in humans may be related to

  1. West Nile virus in livestock and wildlife

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLean, R.G.; Ubico, S.R.; Bourne, D.; Komar, N.

    2002-01-01

    WN virus is one of the most ubiquitous arboviruses occurring over a broad geographical range and in a wide diversity of vertebrate host and vector species. The virus appears to be maintained in endemic foci on the African continent and is transported annually to temperate climates to the north in Europe and to the south in South Africa. Reports of clinical disease due to natural WN virus infection in wild or domestic animals were much less common than reports of infection (virus isolation or antibody detection). Until recently, records of morbidity and mortality in wild birds were confined to a small number of cases and infections causing encephalitis, sometimes fatal, in horses were reported infrequently. In the period 1996-2001, there was an increase in outbreaks of illness due to WN virus in animals as well as humans. Within the traditional range of WN virus, encephalitis was reported in horses in Italy in 1998 and in France in 2000. The first report of disease and deaths caused by WN virus infection in domestic birds was reported in Israel in 1997-1999, involving hundreds of young geese. In 1999 WN virus reached North America and caused an outbreak of encephalitis in humans in the New York area at the same time as a number of cases of equine encephalitis and deaths in American crows and a variety of other bird species, both North American natives and exotics. Multi-state surveillance for WN virus has been in place since April 2000 and has resulted in the detection of WN virus in thousands of dead birds from an increasing number of species in North America, and also in several species of mammals. The surveillance system that has developed in North America because of the utility of testing dead birds for the rapid detection of WN virus presence has been a unique integration of public health and wildlife health agencies. It has been suggested that the recent upsurge in clinical WN virus infection in wild and domestic animals as well as in humans may be related to

  2. Alexander the Great and West Nile Virus Encephalitis

    PubMed Central

    Marr, John S.

    2003-01-01

    Alexander the Great died in Babylon in 323 BC. His death at age 32 followed a 2-week febrile illness. Speculated causes of death have included poisoning, assassination, and a number of infectious diseases. One incident, mentioned by Plutarch but not considered by previous investigators, may shed light on the cause of Alexander’s death. The incident, which occurred as he entered Babylon, involved a flock of ravens exhibiting unusual behavior and subsequently dying at his feet. The inexplicable behavior of ravens is reminiscent of avian illness and death weeks before the first human cases of West Nile virus infection were identified in the United States. We posit that Alexander may have died of West Nile encephalitis. PMID:14725285

  3. Identifying the Environmental Conditions Favouring West Nile Virus Outbreaks in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Metz, Markus; Rosà, Roberto; Marini, Giovanni; Chadwick, Elizabeth; Neteler, Markus

    2015-01-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) is a globally important mosquito borne virus, with significant implications for human and animal health. The emergence and spread of new lineages, and increased pathogenicity, is the cause of escalating public health concern. Pinpointing the environmental conditions that favour WNV circulation and transmission to humans is challenging, due both to the complexity of its biological cycle, and the under-diagnosis and reporting of epidemiological data. Here, we used remote sensing and GIS to enable collation of multiple types of environmental data over a continental spatial scale, in order to model annual West Nile Fever (WNF) incidence across Europe and neighbouring countries. Multi-model selection and inference were used to gain a consensus from multiple linear mixed models. Climate and landscape were key predictors of WNF outbreaks (specifically, high precipitation in late winter/early spring, high summer temperatures, summer drought, occurrence of irrigated croplands and highly fragmented forests). Identification of the environmental conditions associated with WNF outbreaks is key to enabling public health bodies to properly focus surveillance and mitigation of West Nile virus impact, but more work needs to be done to enable accurate predictions of WNF risk. PMID:25803814

  4. West Nile virus infection among humans, Texas, USA, 2002-2011.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Melissa S; Schuermann, Jim; Murray, Kristy O

    2013-01-01

    We conducted an epidemiologic analysis to document West Nile virus infections among humans in Texas, USA, during 2002-2011. West Nile virus has become endemic to Texas; the number of reported cases increased every 3 years. Risk for infection was greatest in rural northwestern Texas, where Culex tarsalis mosquitoes are the predominant mosquito species.

  5. Clinical West Nile virus infection in 2 horses in western Canada

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    Abstract Two horses had a history of ataxia and weakness or recumbency. One recovered and was diagnosed with West Nile virus (WNV) infection by serologic testing. The other was euthanized; it had meningoencephalomyelitis, WNV was detected by polymerase chain reaction. West Nile virus infection is an emerging disease. Year 2002 is the first year in which cases have been seen in Saskatchewan. PMID:15144104

  6. Clinical West Nile virus infection in 2 horses in western Canada.

    PubMed

    Abutarbush, Sameeh M; O'Connor, Brendan P; Clark, Chris; Sampieri, Francesca; Naylor, Jonathan M

    2004-04-01

    Two horses had a history of ataxia and weakness or recumbency. One recovered and was diagnosed with West Nile virus (WNV) infection by serologic testing. The other was euthanized; it had meningoencephalomyelitis, WNV was detected by polymerase chain reaction. West Nile virus infection is an emerging disease. Year 2002 is the first year in which cases have been seen in Saskatchewan.

  7. Overview of West Nile Virus Transmission and Epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Troupin, Andrea; Colpitts, Tonya M

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that can cause mild-to-severe disease in humans and horses. WNV was first documented in Uganda in 1937 and passed through the majority of Africa, West Asia, and Europe before arriving in the USA (with infections in New York City in 1999). After the spread of the virus on the US east coast, it traveled westward, northward, and southward through the USA and into Central and South America. WNV can cause fever, rashes, nausea, vomiting, and potentially neuroinvasive disease or death. The virus is sustained through a mosquito-bird-mosquito cycle and there are many species that are competent vectors. Unfortunately, there are no vaccines and the only treatment is supportive care. This chapter highlights the epidemiology and transmission of WNV and provides insight into some of the challenges of controlling WNV disease.

  8. A continental risk assessment of West Nile virus under climate change.

    PubMed

    Harrigan, Ryan J; Thomassen, Henri A; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B

    2014-08-01

    Since first introduced to North America in 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has spread rapidly across the continent, threatening wildlife populations and posing serious health risks to humans. While WNV incidence has been linked to environmental factors, particularly temperature and rainfall, little is known about how future climate change may affect the spread of the disease. Using available data on WNV infections in vectors and hosts collected from 2003-2011 and using a suite of 10 species distribution models, weighted according to their predictive performance, we modeled the incidence of WNV under current climate conditions at a continental scale. Models were found to accurately predict spatial patterns of WNV that were then used to examine how future climate may affect the spread of the disease. Predictions were accurate for cases of human WNV infection in the following year (2012), with areas reporting infections having significantly higher probability of presence as predicted by our models. Projected geographic distributions of WNV in North America under future climate for 2050 and 2080 show an expansion of suitable climate for the disease, driven by warmer temperatures and lower annual precipitation that will result in the exposure of new and naïve host populations to the virus with potentially serious consequences. Our risk assessment identifies current and future hotspots of West Nile virus where mitigation efforts should be focused and presents an important new approach for monitoring vector-borne disease under climate change.

  9. A continental risk assessment of West Nile virus under climate change.

    PubMed

    Harrigan, Ryan J; Thomassen, Henri A; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B

    2014-08-01

    Since first introduced to North America in 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has spread rapidly across the continent, threatening wildlife populations and posing serious health risks to humans. While WNV incidence has been linked to environmental factors, particularly temperature and rainfall, little is known about how future climate change may affect the spread of the disease. Using available data on WNV infections in vectors and hosts collected from 2003-2011 and using a suite of 10 species distribution models, weighted according to their predictive performance, we modeled the incidence of WNV under current climate conditions at a continental scale. Models were found to accurately predict spatial patterns of WNV that were then used to examine how future climate may affect the spread of the disease. Predictions were accurate for cases of human WNV infection in the following year (2012), with areas reporting infections having significantly higher probability of presence as predicted by our models. Projected geographic distributions of WNV in North America under future climate for 2050 and 2080 show an expansion of suitable climate for the disease, driven by warmer temperatures and lower annual precipitation that will result in the exposure of new and naïve host populations to the virus with potentially serious consequences. Our risk assessment identifies current and future hotspots of West Nile virus where mitigation efforts should be focused and presents an important new approach for monitoring vector-borne disease under climate change. PMID:24574161

  10. West Nile Virus Infection in the Central Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Winkelmann, Evandro R.; Luo, Huanle; Wang, Tian

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), a neurotropic single-stranded flavivirus has been the leading cause of arboviral encephalitis worldwide.  Up to 50% of WNV convalescent patients in the United States were reported to have long-term neurological sequelae.  Neither antiviral drugs nor vaccines are available for humans.  Animal models have been used to investigate WNV pathogenesis and host immune response in humans.  In this review, we will discuss recent findings from studies in animal models of WNV infection, and provide new insights on WNV pathogenesis and WNV-induced host immunity in the central nervous system. PMID:26918172

  11. West Nile virus in the British Virgin Islands.

    PubMed

    Anthony, S J; Garner, M M; Palminteri, L; Navarrete-Macias, I; Sanchez-Leon, M D; Briese, T; Daszak, P; Lipkin, W I

    2014-06-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) first emerged in the US in 1999 and has since spread across the Americas. Here, we report the continued expansion of WNV to the British Virgin Islands following its emergence in a flock of free-roaming flamingos. Histologic review of a single chick revealed lesions consistent with WNV infection, subsequently confirmed with PCR, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Full genome analysis revealed 99% sequence homology to strains circulating in the US over the past decade. This study highlights the need for rapid necropsy of wild bird carcasses to fully understand the impact of WNV on wild populations.

  12. West Nile Virus in Europe and Safety of Blood Transfusion

    PubMed Central

    Pisani, Giulio; Cristiano, Karen; Pupella, Simonetta; Liumbruno, Giancarlo Maria

    2016-01-01

    Summary West Nile virus (WNV) has become an increasing issue in the transfusion setting since 2002, when it was firstly shown in the USA that it can be transmitted through blood transfusion. Since then, several precautionary measures have been introduced in Europe in order to reduce the possible risk of transmission via transfusion/solid organ transplantation. In addition, the epidemiological surveillance has been tightened and the network for communication of human WNV cases strengthened. This review will focus on WNV circulation and the safety of blood in Europe. PMID:27403087

  13. Potential North American vectors of West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Turell, M J; Sardelis, M R; Dohm, D J; O'Guinn, M L

    2001-12-01

    The outbreak of disease in the New York area in 1999 due to West Nile (WN) virus was the first evidence of the occurrence of this virus in the Americas. To determine potential vectors, more than 15 mosquito species (including Culex pipiens, Cx. nigripalpus, Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. salinarius, Aedes albopictus, Ae. vexans, Ochlerotatus japonicus, Oc. sollicitans, Oc. taeniorhynchus, and Oc. triseriatus) from the eastern United States were evaluated for their ability to serve as vectors for the virus isolated from birds collected during the 1999 outbreak in New York. Mosquitoes were allowed to feed on one- to four-day old chickens that had been inoculated with WN virus 1-3 days previously. The mosquitoes were incubated for 12-15 days at 26 degrees C and then allowed to refeed on susceptible chickens and assayed to determine transmission and infection rates. Several container-breeding species (e.g., Ae. albopictus, Oc. atropalpus, and Oc. japonicus) were highly efficient laboratory vectors of WN virus. The Culex species were intermediate in their susceptibility. However, if a disseminated infection developed, all species were able to transmit WN virus by bite. Factors such as population density, feeding preference, longevity, and season of activity also need to be considered in determining the role these species could play in the transmission of WN virus.

  14. Usutu Virus Persistence and West Nile Virus Inactivity in the Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy) in 2011

    PubMed Central

    Calzolari, Mattia; Bonilauri, Paolo; Bellini, Romeo; Albieri, Alessandro; Defilippo, Francesco; Tamba, Marco; Tassinari, Massimo; Gelati, Antonio; Cordioli, Paolo; Angelini, Paola; Dottori, Michele

    2013-01-01

    Background The circulation of West Nile virus and Usutu virus was detected in the Emilia-Romagna region in 2008 and 2009. To evaluate the extent of circulation of both viruses, environmental surveillance, based on bird and mosquito testing, was conducted in 2008 and gradually improved over the years. Methods In February–March 2009–2011, 5,993 hibernating mosquitoes were manually sampled, out of which 80.1% were Culex pipiens; none tested positive for the viruses. From 2008 to 2011, 946,213 mosquitoes, sampled between May and October, were tested; 86.5% were Cx. pipiens. West Nile virus was detected in 32 Cx. pipiens pools, and Usutu virus was detected in 229 mosquito pools (217 Cx. pipiens, 10 Aedes albopictus, one Anopheles maculipennis s.l., and one Aedes caspius). From 2009 to 2011, of 4,546 birds collected, 42 tested positive for West Nile virus and 48 for Usutu virus. West Nile virus and Usutu virus showed different patterns of activity during the 2008–2011 surveillance period. West Nile virus was detected in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but not in 2011. Usutu virus, however, was continuously active throughout 2009, 2010, and 2011. Conclusions The data strongly suggest that both viruses overwinter in the surveyed area rather than being continually reintroduced every season. The lack of hibernating mosquitoes testing positive for the viruses and the presence of positive birds sampled early in the season support the hypothesis that the viruses overwinter in birds rather than in mosquitoes. Herd immunity in key bird species could explain the decline of West Nile virus observed in 2011, while the persistence of Usutu virus may be explained by not yet identified reservoirs. Reported results are comparable with a peri-Mediterranean circulation of the West Nile virus lineage 1 related strain, which became undetectable in the environment after two to three years of obvious circulation. PMID:23667694

  15. West Nile virus and USUTU--a threat to Poland.

    PubMed

    Moniuszko-Malinowska, Anna; Czupryna, Piotr; Dunaj, Justyna; Zajkowska, Joanna; Siemieniako, Agnieszka; Pancewicz, Sławomir

    2016-01-01

    In recent years emergence of new infectious diseases and the growing spread of pathogens to new areas is observed. Most of these pathogens are zoonotic viruses and their transmission route is from animals to humans and vice versa. These so called emerging and re-emerging pathogens that were present previously only in Africa and Asia are becoming a threat to European countries. These include, e.g. West Nile virus and USUTU virus. The aim of the study is to present the clinical course of infections caused by WVN and USUTU, diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities and, above all, the current epidemiological situation of these infections in the world. We also tried to answer the question whether, there is a risk of infection with these viruses in Poland. After analyzing the available literature we venture a conclusion that in Poland there is a risk of WNV and USUTU infection. Global warming, change of socio-economic conditions, travelling greatly affect the spread of these viruses. In addition there are confirmed human cases of these diseases in countries neighboring Poland, as well as presence of both viruses and the presence of vectors (Culex pipiens sl and Culex torrentium (Diptera: Culicidae)) in our country. All these facts indicate that there is a necessity of epidemiological studies and consideration of these pathogens in the differential diagnosis of febrile illness and neuroinfection. PMID:27344466

  16. West Nile virus and USUTU--a threat to Poland.

    PubMed

    Moniuszko-Malinowska, Anna; Czupryna, Piotr; Dunaj, Justyna; Zajkowska, Joanna; Siemieniako, Agnieszka; Pancewicz, Sławomir

    2016-01-01

    In recent years emergence of new infectious diseases and the growing spread of pathogens to new areas is observed. Most of these pathogens are zoonotic viruses and their transmission route is from animals to humans and vice versa. These so called emerging and re-emerging pathogens that were present previously only in Africa and Asia are becoming a threat to European countries. These include, e.g. West Nile virus and USUTU virus. The aim of the study is to present the clinical course of infections caused by WVN and USUTU, diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities and, above all, the current epidemiological situation of these infections in the world. We also tried to answer the question whether, there is a risk of infection with these viruses in Poland. After analyzing the available literature we venture a conclusion that in Poland there is a risk of WNV and USUTU infection. Global warming, change of socio-economic conditions, travelling greatly affect the spread of these viruses. In addition there are confirmed human cases of these diseases in countries neighboring Poland, as well as presence of both viruses and the presence of vectors (Culex pipiens sl and Culex torrentium (Diptera: Culicidae)) in our country. All these facts indicate that there is a necessity of epidemiological studies and consideration of these pathogens in the differential diagnosis of febrile illness and neuroinfection.

  17. West nile virus and other arboviral diseases - United States, 2013.

    PubMed

    Lindsey, Nicole P; Lehman, Jennifer A; Staples, J Erin; Fischer, Marc

    2014-06-20

    Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes and ticks. West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of domestically acquired arboviral disease in the United States. However, several other arboviruses also cause sporadic cases and seasonal outbreaks of neuroinvasive disease (i.e., meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis). This report summarizes surveillance data reported to CDC in 2013 for WNV and other nationally notifiable arboviruses, excluding dengue. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported 2,469 cases of WNV disease. Of these, 1,267 (51%) were classified as WNV neuroinvasive disease, for a national incidence of 0.40 per 100,000 population. After WNV, the next most commonly reported cause of arboviral disease was La Crosse virus (LACV) (85 cases), followed by Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), Powassan virus (POWV), and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) (eight). WNV and other arboviruses continue to cause serious illness in substantial numbers of persons annually. Maintaining surveillance remains important to help direct and promote prevention activities.

  18. West Nile and Usutu Viruses in Mosquitoes in Spain, 2008–2009

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez, Ana; Ruiz, Santiago; Herrero, Laura; Moreno, Juana; Molero, Francisca; Magallanes, Antonio; Sánchez-Seco, Maria Paz; Figuerola, Jordi; Tenorio, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    West Nile virus lineage 1 (similar to the strains obtained from golden eagles in Spain, 2007) and Usutu virus (similar to the strains obtained from Culex pipiens in Spain, 2006) were detected in pools from Culex perexiguus collected in southern Spain in 2008 and 2009, respectively. This is the first detection and isolation of West Nile virus lineage 1 from mosquitoes in Spain. PMID:21734145

  19. West Nile and Usutu viruses in mosquitoes in Spain, 2008-2009.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, Ana; Ruiz, Santiago; Herrero, Laura; Moreno, Juana; Molero, Francisca; Magallanes, Antonio; Sánchez-Seco, Maria Paz; Figuerola, Jordi; Tenorio, Antonio

    2011-07-01

    West Nile virus lineage 1 (similar to the strains obtained from golden eagles in Spain, 2007) and Usutu virus (similar to the strains obtained from Culex pipiens in Spain, 2006) were detected in pools from Culex perexiguus collected in southern Spain in 2008 and 2009, respectively. This is the first detection and isolation of West Nile virus lineage 1 from mosquitoes in Spain. PMID:21734145

  20. [Infections due to Toscana virus, West Nile virus, and other arboviruses of interest in Europe].

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Seco, Mari Paz; Navarro, José María

    2005-11-01

    Arbovirosis, viral infection transmitted by arthropods, is a widespread health problem. Recurrent outbreaks caused by some of these viruses such as dengue or West Nile strains in regions where they do not appear frequently, justify the establishment of global control measures. Tick-borne encephalitis viruses, sand fly fever viruses (Toscana, Naples and Sicily) and occasionally West Nile and Crimean-Congo fever viruses are the most frequent causes of arbovirosis in Europe, although circulation of other potentially pathogenetic viruses such as Chikungunya has also been detected. The only native arbovirosis described in Spain is infection produced by Toscana virus, which causes aseptic, usually benign meningitis. Nevertheless, some West Nile virus-associated meningo-encephalitis cases have been described in France, Portugal and countries in the Magreb region, increasing the risk of sporadic occurrence of these processes in our country. To achieve an accurate diagnosis, high clinical suspicion is required as well as highly specific laboratory techniques, mainly based on IgM detection, RT-PCR and viral culture of CSF and/or serum.

  1. The Global Ecology and Epidemiology of West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Rios, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Since its initial isolation in Uganda in 1937 through the present, West Nile virus (WNV) has become an important cause of human and animal disease worldwide. WNV, an enveloped virus of the genus Flavivirus, is naturally maintained in an enzootic cycle between birds and mosquitoes, with occasional epizootic spillover causing disease in humans and horses. The mosquito vectors for WNV are widely distributed worldwide, and the known geographic range of WNV transmission and disease has continued to increase over the past 77 years. While most human infections with WNV are asymptomatic, severe neurological disease may develop resulting in long-term sequelae or death. Surveillance and preventive measures are an ongoing need to reduce the public health impact of WNV in areas with the potential for transmission. PMID:25866777

  2. Epidemiology and Transmission Dynamics of West Nile Virus Disease

    PubMed Central

    Komar, Nicholas; Nasci, Roger S.; Montgomery, Susan P.; O'Leary, Daniel R.; Campbell, Grant L.

    2005-01-01

    From 1937 until 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) garnered scant medical attention as the cause of febrile illness and sporadic encephalitis in parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe. After the surprising detection of WNV in New York City in 1999, the virus has spread dramatically westward across the United States, southward into Central America and the Caribbean, and northward into Canada, resulting in the largest epidemics of neuroinvasive WNV disease ever reported. From 1999 to 2004, >7,000 neuroinvasive WNV disease cases were reported in the United States. In 2002, WNV transmission through blood transfusion and organ transplantation was described for the first time, intrauterine transmission was first documented, and possible transmission through breastfeeding was reported. This review highlights new information regarding the epidemiology and dynamics of WNV transmission, providing a new platform for further research into preventing and controlling WNV disease. PMID:16102302

  3. Propagation, quantification, detection, and storage of West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Brien, James D; Lazear, Helen M; Diamond, Michael S

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a member of the Flaviviridae family of enveloped, single-stranded, positive-sense RNA viruses. WNV, an emerging viral pathogen, is transmitted by mosquitoes to birds and mammals and is responsible for an increasing incidence of human disease in North America and Europe. Due to its ease of use in the laboratory and the availability of robust mouse models of disease, WNV provides an excellent experimental system for studying molecular virology and pathogenesis of infection by flaviviruses. Here, we describe common laboratory techniques used to propagate, quantify, detect, and store WNV. We also briefly describe appropriate safety precautions required for the laboratory use of WNV, which is classified as a Biosafety Level 3 pathogen by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  4. Technologies for the development of West Nile virus vaccines.

    PubMed

    Ulbert, Sebastian; Magnusson, Sofia E

    2014-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), an emerging mosquito-borne and zoonotic flavivirus, continues to spread worldwide and represents a major problem for human and veterinary medicine. In recent years, severe outbreaks were observed in the USA and Europe with neighboring countries, and the virus is considered to be endemic in an increasing number of areas. Although most infections remain asymptomatic, WNV can cause severe, even fatal, neurological disease, which affects mostly the elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Several vaccines have been licensed in the veterinary sector, but no human vaccine is available today. This review summarizes recent strategies that are being followed to develop WNV vaccines with emphasis on technologies suitable for the use in humans.

  5. Indigenous West Nile virus infections in horses in Albania.

    PubMed

    Berxholi, K; Ziegler, U; Rexhepi, A; Schmidt, K; Mertens, M; Korro, K; Cuko, A; Angenvoort, J; Groschup, M H

    2013-11-01

    Serum samples collected from 167 equines of 12 districts in Albania were tested for West Nile virus-specific antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and virus neutralization assay, using WNV lineage 1 and 2. In addition, 95 bird serum samples from Albania and 29 horse samples from Kosovo were tested in ELISA. An overall seroprevalence rate of 22% was found in horses from Albania, whereas no specific antibodies were found in the equine samples from Kosovo and the bird samples. This is the first report indicating WNV infections in animals in Albania, and the first reported seroprevalence study conducted for Kosovo. These results provide evidence for widespread infections of WNV in Albania.

  6. Neuropsychological Impact of West Nile Virus Infection: An Extensive Neuropsychiatric Assessment of 49 Cases in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Samaan, Zainab; McDermid Vaz, Stephanie; Bawor, Monica; Potter, Tammy Hlywka; Eskandarian, Sasha; Loeb, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Background West Nile virus emerged as an important human pathogen in North America and continues to pose a risk to public health. It can cause a highly variable range of clinical manifestations ranging from asymptomatic to severe illness. Neuroinvasive disease due to West Nile virus can lead to long-term neurological deficits and psychological impairment. However, these deficits have not been well described. The objective of this study was to characterize the neuropsychological manifestations of West Nile virus infection with a focus on neuroinvasive status and time since infection. Methods Patients from Ontario Canada with a diagnosis of neuroinvasive disease (meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis) and non-neuroinvasive disease who had participated in a cohort study were enrolled. Clinical and laboratory were collected, as well as demographics and medical history. Cognitive functioning was assessed using a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests. Results Data from 49 individuals (32 with West Nile fever and 17 with West Nile neuroinvasive disease) were included in the present cross-sectional analysis. Patterns of neuropsychological impairment were comparable across participants with both neuroinvasive and non-neuroinvasive West Nile virus infection on all cognitive measures. Neuropsychiatric impairment was also observed more frequently at two to four years post-infection compared to earlier stages of illness. Conclusions Our data provide objective evidence for cognitive difficulties among patients who were infected with West Nile virus; these deficits appear to manifest regardless of severity of West Nile virus infection (West Nile fever vs. West Nile neuroinvasive disease), and are more prevalent with increasing illness duration (2–4 years vs. 1 month). Data from this study will help inform patients and healthcare providers about the expected course of recovery, as well as the need to implement effective treatment strategies that

  7. West Nile virus transmission and ecology in birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLean, R.G.; Ubico, S.R.; Docherty, D.E.; Hansen, W.R.; Sileo, L.; Mcnamara, T.S.

    2001-01-01

    The ecology of the strain of West Nile virus (WNV) introduced into the United States in 1999 has similarities to the native flavivirus, St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus, but has unique features not observed with SLE virus or with WNV in the old world. The primary route of transmission for most of the arboviruses in North America is by mosquito, and infected native birds usually do not suffer morbidity or mortality. An exception to this pattern is eastern equine encephalitis virus, which has an alternate direct route of transmission among nonnative birds, and some mortality of native bird species occurs. The strain of WNV circulating in the northeastern United States is unique in that it causes significant mortality in exotic and native bird species, especially in the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos). Because of the lack of information on the susceptibility and pathogenesis of WNV for this species, experimental studies were conducted at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center. In two separate studies, crows were inoculated with a 1999 New York strain of WNV, and all experimentally infected crows died. In one of the studies, control crows in regular contact with experimentally inoculated crows in the same room but not inoculated with WNV succumbed to infection. The direct transmission between crows was most likely by the oral route. Inoculated crows were viremic before death, and high titers of virus were isolated from a variety of tissues. The significance of the experimental direct transmission among captive crows is unknown.

  8. Clinical and pathologic features of West Nile virus infection in native North American owls (Family strigidae).

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, S D; Patterson, J S; Kiupel, M; Simmons, H A; Grimes, S D; Sarver, C F; Fulton, R M; Steficek, B A; Cooley, T M; Massey, J P; Sikarskie, J G

    2003-01-01

    Since the initial report of West Nile virus in the northeastern United States in 1999, the virus has spread rapidly westward and southward across the country. In the summer of 2002, several midwestern states reported increased cases of neurologic disease and mortality associated with West Nile virus infection in various native North American owl species. This report summarizes the clinical and pathologic findings for 13 captive and free-ranging owls. Affected species were all in the family Strigidae and included seven snowy owls (Nyctea scandiaca), four great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus), a barred owl (Strix varia), and a short-eared owl (Asio flammeus). Neurologic signs identified included head tilt, uncoordinated flight, paralysis, tremors, and seizures. Owls that died were screened for flaviviral proteins by immunohistochemical staining of formalin-fixed tissues, followed by specific polymerase chain reaction assay to confirm West Nile virus with fresh tissues when available. Microscopic lesions were widespread, involving brain, heart, liver, kidney, and spleen, and were typically nonsuppurative with infiltration by predominantly lymphocytes and plasma cells. Lesions in owls were much more severe than those previously reported in corvids such as crows, which are considered highly susceptible to infection and are routinely used as sentinel species for monitoring for the presence and spread of West Nile virus. This report is the first detailed description of the pathology of West Nile virus infection in Strigiformes and indicates that this bird family is susceptible to natural infection with West Nile virus.

  9. Clinical and pathologic features of West Nile virus infection in native North American owls (Family strigidae).

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, S D; Patterson, J S; Kiupel, M; Simmons, H A; Grimes, S D; Sarver, C F; Fulton, R M; Steficek, B A; Cooley, T M; Massey, J P; Sikarskie, J G

    2003-01-01

    Since the initial report of West Nile virus in the northeastern United States in 1999, the virus has spread rapidly westward and southward across the country. In the summer of 2002, several midwestern states reported increased cases of neurologic disease and mortality associated with West Nile virus infection in various native North American owl species. This report summarizes the clinical and pathologic findings for 13 captive and free-ranging owls. Affected species were all in the family Strigidae and included seven snowy owls (Nyctea scandiaca), four great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus), a barred owl (Strix varia), and a short-eared owl (Asio flammeus). Neurologic signs identified included head tilt, uncoordinated flight, paralysis, tremors, and seizures. Owls that died were screened for flaviviral proteins by immunohistochemical staining of formalin-fixed tissues, followed by specific polymerase chain reaction assay to confirm West Nile virus with fresh tissues when available. Microscopic lesions were widespread, involving brain, heart, liver, kidney, and spleen, and were typically nonsuppurative with infiltration by predominantly lymphocytes and plasma cells. Lesions in owls were much more severe than those previously reported in corvids such as crows, which are considered highly susceptible to infection and are routinely used as sentinel species for monitoring for the presence and spread of West Nile virus. This report is the first detailed description of the pathology of West Nile virus infection in Strigiformes and indicates that this bird family is susceptible to natural infection with West Nile virus. PMID:14562887

  10. Progress on the Development of Therapeutics against West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Michael S

    2009-01-01

    A decade has passed since the appearance of West Nile virus (WNV) in humans in the Western Hemisphere in New York City. During this interval, WNV spread inexorably throughout North and South America and caused millions of infections ranging from a sub-clinical illness, to a self-limiting febrile syndrome or lethal neuroinvasive disease. Its entry into the United States triggered intensive research into the basic biology of WNV and the elements that comprise a protective host immune response. Although no therapy is currently approved for use in humans, several strategies are being pursued to develop effective prophylaxis and treatments. This review describes the current state of knowledge on epidemiology, clinical presentation, pathogenesis, and immunobiology of WNV infection, and highlights progress toward an effective therapy. PMID:19501622

  11. Use of Testing for West Nile Virus and Other Arboviruses.

    PubMed

    Vanichanan, Jakapat; Salazar, Lucrecia; Wootton, Susan H; Aguilera, Elizabeth; Garcia, Melissa N; Murray, Kristy O; Hasbun, Rodrigo

    2016-09-01

    In the United States, the most commonly diagnosed arboviral disease is West Nile virus (WNV) infection. Diagnosis is made by detecting WNV IgG or viral genomic sequences in serum or cerebrospinal fluid. To determine frequency of this testing in WNV-endemic areas, we examined the proportion of tests ordered for patients with meningitis and encephalitis at 9 hospitals in Houston, Texas, USA. We identified 751 patients (567 adults, 184 children), among whom 390 (52%) experienced illness onset during WNV season (June-October). WNV testing was ordered for 281 (37%) of the 751; results indicated acute infection for 32 (11%). Characteristics associated with WNV testing were acute focal neurologic deficits; older age; magnetic resonance imaging; empirically prescribed antiviral therapy; worse clinical outcomes: and concomitant testing for mycobacterial, fungal, or other viral infections. Testing for WNV is underutilized, and testing of patients with more severe disease raises the possibility of diagnostic bias in epidemiologic studies. PMID:27537988

  12. The Structural Immunology of Antibody Protection against West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Michael S.; Pierson, Theodore C.; Fremont, Daved H.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Recent investigations of the interaction between the West Nile virus (WNV) envelope protein (E) and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have elucidated fundamental insights into the molecular mechanisms of neutralization. Structural studies have defined an epitope on the lateral ridge of domain III (DIII-lr) of the WNV E protein that is recognized by antibodies with the strongest neutralizing activity in vitro and in vivo. Antibodies that bind this epitope are highly potent because they efficiently block at a post-entry step of viral infection with relatively low virion occupancy requirements. In this review, we will discuss the structural, molecular, and immunologic basis for antibody-mediated protection against WNV, and its implications for novel therapeutic or vaccine strategies. PMID:18837784

  13. Current Trends in West Nile Virus Vaccine Development

    PubMed Central

    Amanna, Ian J.; Slifka, Mark K.

    2014-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that has become endemic in the United States. From 1999-2012, there have been 37,088 reported cases of WNV and 1,549 deaths, resulting in a 4.2% case-fatality rate. Despite development of effective WNV vaccines for horses, there is no vaccine to prevent human WNV infection. Several vaccines have been tested in preclinical studies and to date there have been 8 clinical trials, with promising results in terms of safety and induction of antiviral immunity. Although mass vaccination is unlikely to be cost-effective, implementation of a targeted vaccine program may be feasible if a safe and effective vaccine can be brought to market. Further evaluation of new and advanced vaccine candidates is strongly encouraged. PMID:24689659

  14. Avian hosts of West Nile virus in Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Komar, Nicholas; Bessoff, Kovi; Diaz, Annette; Amador, Manuel; Young, Ginger; Seda, Rafael; Perez, Taonex; Hunsperger, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) ecology in neotropical ecosystems is poorly understood, and vertebrate hosts responsible for infecting mosquitoes remain unidentified throughout the Caribbean Basin. After a period of intense WNV transmission among sentinel chickens near Ceiba, Puerto Rico, we measured abundance of resident birds and species-specific prevalence of WNV infection. Taking the product of these measures indicates the relative number of WNV infections by species. Greater Antillean grackle (Quiscalus niger) accounted for the most WNV infections among birds in our 100-km(2) study site. In urban habitats, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) was frequently infected. Immature birds less than one year of age were more likely to have detectable WNV-reactive antibodies than older birds of the same species.

  15. Use of Testing for West Nile Virus and Other Arboviruses

    PubMed Central

    Vanichanan, Jakapat; Salazar, Lucrecia; Wootton, Susan H.; Aguilera, Elizabeth; Garcia, Melissa N.; Murray, Kristy O.

    2016-01-01

    In the United States, the most commonly diagnosed arboviral disease is West Nile virus (WNV) infection. Diagnosis is made by detecting WNV IgG or viral genomic sequences in serum or cerebrospinal fluid. To determine frequency of this testing in WNV-endemic areas, we examined the proportion of tests ordered for patients with meningitis and encephalitis at 9 hospitals in Houston, Texas, USA. We identified 751 patients (567 adults, 184 children), among whom 390 (52%) experienced illness onset during WNV season (June–October). WNV testing was ordered for 281 (37%) of the 751; results indicated acute infection for 32 (11%). Characteristics associated with WNV testing were acute focal neurologic deficits; older age; magnetic resonance imaging; empirically prescribed antiviral therapy; worse clinical outcomes: and concomitant testing for mycobacterial, fungal, or other viral infections. Testing for WNV is underutilized, and testing of patients with more severe disease raises the possibility of diagnostic bias in epidemiologic studies. PMID:27537988

  16. Experimental Infections of Wild Birds with West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Ramírez, Elisa; Llorente, Francisco; Jiménez-Clavero, Miguel Ángel

    2014-01-01

    Avian models of West Nile virus (WNV) disease have become pivotal in the study of infection pathogenesis and transmission, despite the intrinsic constraints that represents this type of experimental research that needs to be conducted in biosecurity level 3 (BSL3) facilities. This review summarizes the main achievements of WNV experimental research carried out in wild birds, highlighting advantages and limitations of this model. Viral and host factors that determine the infection outcome are analyzed in detail, as well as recent discoveries about avian immunity, viral transmission, and persistence achieved through experimental research. Studies of laboratory infections in the natural host will help to understand variations in susceptibility and reservoir competence among bird species, as well as in the epidemiological patterns found in different affected areas. PMID:24531334

  17. West Nile virus epizootiology in the southeastern United States, 2001.

    PubMed

    Godsey, Marvin S; Blackmore, Mark S; Panella, Nicholas A; Burkhalter, Kristen; Gottfried, Kristy; Halsey, Lawrence A; Rutledge, Roxanne; Langevin, Stanley A; Gates, Robert; Lamonte, Karen M; Lambert, Amy; Lanciotti, Robert S; Blackmore, Carina G M; Loyless, Tom; Stark, Lillian; Oliveri, Robin; Conti, Lisa; Komar, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    We investigated mosquito and bird involvement in West Nile virus (WNV) transmission in July 2001 in Jefferson County, FL, and Lowndes County, GA. We detected 16 WNV-infected pools from Culex quinquefasciatus, Cx. salinarius, Cx. nigripalpus, and Culiseta melanura. In Florida, 11% of 353 bird sera neutralized WNV. Antibody prevalence was greatest in northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis, 75%), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottus, 50%), common ground-dove (Columbina passerina, 25%), common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula, 15%), domestic chicken (Gallus gallus, 16%), and house sparrow (Passer domesticus, 11%). Antibody-positive birds were detected in nine of 11 locations, among which prevalence in chickens ranged from 0% to 100%. Seropositive chickens were detected in Georgia as well. The primary transmission cycle of WNV in the southeastern United States apparently involves Culex mosquitoes and passerine birds. Chickens are frequently infected and may serve as effective sentinels in this region.

  18. Host sphingomyelin increases West Nile virus infection in vivo.

    PubMed

    Martín-Acebes, Miguel A; Gabandé-Rodríguez, Enrique; García-Cabrero, Ana M; Sánchez, Marina P; Ledesma, María Dolores; Sobrino, Francisco; Saiz, Juan-Carlos

    2016-03-01

    Flaviviruses, such as the dengue virus and the West Nile virus (WNV), are arthropod-borne viruses that represent a global health problem. The flavivirus lifecycle is intimately connected to cellular lipids. Among the lipids co-opted by flaviviruses, we have focused on SM, an important component of cellular membranes particularly enriched in the nervous system. After infection with the neurotropic WNV, mice deficient in acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), which accumulate high levels of SM in their tissues, displayed exacerbated infection. In addition, WNV multiplication was enhanced in cells from human patients with Niemann-Pick type A, a disease caused by a deficiency of ASM activity resulting in SM accumulation. Furthermore, the addition of SM to cultured cells also increased WNV infection, whereas treatment with pharmacological inhibitors of SM synthesis reduced WNV infection. Confocal microscopy analyses confirmed the association of SM with viral replication sites within infected cells. Our results unveil that SM metabolism regulates flavivirus infection in vivo and propose SM as a suitable target for antiviral design against WNV.

  19. West Nile virus: A re-emerging pathogen revisited

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Acebes, Miguel A; Saiz, Juan-Carlos

    2012-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), a flavivirus of the Flaviviridae family, is maintained in nature in an enzootic transmission cycle between avian hosts and ornithophilic mosquito vectors, although the virus occasionally infects other vertebrates. WNV causes sporadic disease outbreaks in horses and humans, which may result in febrile illness, meningitis, encephalitis and flaccid paralysis. Until recently, its medical and veterinary health concern was relatively low; however, the number, frequency and severity of outbreaks with neurological consequences in humans and horses have lately increased in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Since its introduction in the Americas, the virus spread across the continent with worrisome consequences in bird mortality and a considerable number of outbreaks among humans and horses, which have resulted in the largest epidemics of neuroinvasive WNV disease ever documented. Surprisingly, its incidence in human and animal health is very different in Central and South America, and the reasons for it are not yet understood. Even though great advances have been obtained lately regarding WNV infection, and although efficient equine vaccines are available, no specific treatments or vaccines for human use are on the market. This review updates the most recent investigations in different aspects of WNV life cycle: molecular virology, transmission dynamics, host range, clinical presentations, epidemiology, ecology, diagnosis, control, and prevention, and highlights some aspects that certainly require further research. PMID:24175211

  20. Spreading of West Nile virus infection in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Barbić, Ljubo; Listeš, Eddy; Katić, Sanda; Stevanović, Vladimir; Madić, Josip; Starešina, Vilim; Labrović, Ankica; Di Gennaro, Annapia; Savini, Giovanni

    2012-10-12

    West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging zoonotic pathogen with rapid global expansion. The virus circulation is confirmed in many countries of Mediterranean Basin and Southern and Central Europe. In our study detection of specific WNV antibodies was performed in horses and cattle sera samples collected from October 2010 to April 2011. Serum samples were randomly taken from different parts of Croatia and tested by IgG and IgM ELISA. Positive serological results were confirmed by virus neutralization assay (VN-assay) and plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). Results showed that WNV antibodies were present in 72 out of 2098 horse sera (3.43%) and 3 of 2695 cattle sera (0.11%). The highest seroprevalence was found in Eastern Croatia in counties next to Hungarian, Serbian and Bosnia and Herzegovinian state borders. In Adriatic part of Croatia positive animals were found only in the westernmost county, near Slovenian and Italian borders. Geographic distribution and number of positive horses indicated that WNV is highly present in Croatia and spreading from East to West. However, positive horses in westernmost part of country indicate possible second origin of spreading. Location of serological positive cattle supports the hypothesis that seropositive cattle could be indicators of high WNV activity in the respective geographic regions.

  1. West Nile Virus in Resident Birds from Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Chaves, Andrea; Sotomayor-Bonilla, Jesus; Monge, Otto; Ramírez, Abigaíl; Galindo, Francisco; Sarmiento-Silva, Rosa Elena; Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Gustavo A; Suzán, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) in the Americas is thought to be transported at large spatial scales by migratory birds and locally spread and amplified by resident birds. Local processes, including interspecific interactions and dominance of passerine species recognized as competent reservoirs, may boost infection and maintain endemic cycles. Change in species composition has been recognized as an important driver for infection dynamics. Due to migration and changes in species diversity and composition in wintering grounds, changes in infection prevalence are expected. To these changes, we used PCR to estimate the prevalence of WNV in wild resident birds during the dry and rainy seasons of 2012 in Yucatan, Mexico. Serum samples were obtained from 104 wild birds, belonging to six orders and 35 species. We detected WNV in 14 resident birds, representing 11 species and three orders. Prevalences by order was Passeriformes (27%), Columbiformes (6%), and Piciformes (33%). Resident birds positive to WNV from Yucatan may be indicative of local virus circulation and evidence of past virus transmission activity.

  2. West Nile Virus in Resident Birds from Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Chaves, Andrea; Sotomayor-Bonilla, Jesus; Monge, Otto; Ramírez, Abigaíl; Galindo, Francisco; Sarmiento-Silva, Rosa Elena; Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Gustavo A; Suzán, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) in the Americas is thought to be transported at large spatial scales by migratory birds and locally spread and amplified by resident birds. Local processes, including interspecific interactions and dominance of passerine species recognized as competent reservoirs, may boost infection and maintain endemic cycles. Change in species composition has been recognized as an important driver for infection dynamics. Due to migration and changes in species diversity and composition in wintering grounds, changes in infection prevalence are expected. To these changes, we used PCR to estimate the prevalence of WNV in wild resident birds during the dry and rainy seasons of 2012 in Yucatan, Mexico. Serum samples were obtained from 104 wild birds, belonging to six orders and 35 species. We detected WNV in 14 resident birds, representing 11 species and three orders. Prevalences by order was Passeriformes (27%), Columbiformes (6%), and Piciformes (33%). Resident birds positive to WNV from Yucatan may be indicative of local virus circulation and evidence of past virus transmission activity. PMID:26540336

  3. Evaluating the Use of Commercial West Nile Virus Antigens as Positive Controls in the Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform West Nile Virus Assay.

    PubMed

    Burkhalter, Kristen L; Savage, Harry M

    2015-12-01

    We evaluated the utility of 2 types of commercially available antigens as positive controls in the Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform (RAMP®) West Nile virus (WNV) assay. Purified recombinant WNV envelope antigens and whole killed virus antigens produced positive RAMP results and either type would be useful as a positive control. Killed virus antigens provide operational and economic advantages and we recommend their use over purified recombinant antigens. We also offer practical applications for RAMP positive controls and recommendations for preparing them. PMID:26675461

  4. Evaluating the Use of Commercial West Nile Virus Antigens as Positive Controls in the Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform West Nile Virus Assay.

    PubMed

    Burkhalter, Kristen L; Savage, Harry M

    2015-12-01

    We evaluated the utility of 2 types of commercially available antigens as positive controls in the Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform (RAMP®) West Nile virus (WNV) assay. Purified recombinant WNV envelope antigens and whole killed virus antigens produced positive RAMP results and either type would be useful as a positive control. Killed virus antigens provide operational and economic advantages and we recommend their use over purified recombinant antigens. We also offer practical applications for RAMP positive controls and recommendations for preparing them.

  5. Parameters of Mosquito-Enhanced West Nile Virus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Moser, Lindsey A.; Lim, Pei-Yin; Styer, Linda M.; Kramer, Laura D.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The arthropod-borne West Nile virus (WNV) emerged in New York State in 1999 and quickly spread throughout the United States. Transmission is maintained in an enzootic cycle in which infected mosquitoes transmit the virus to susceptible hosts during probing and feeding. Arthropod-derived components within the viral inoculum are increasingly acknowledged to play a role in infection of vertebrate hosts. We previously showed that Culex tarsalis mosquito saliva and salivary gland extract (SGE) enhance the in vivo replication of WNV. Here, we characterized the effective dose, timing, and proximity of saliva and SGE administration necessary for enhancement of WNV viremia using a mouse model. Mosquito saliva and SGE enhanced viremia in a dose-dependent manner, and a single mosquito bite or as little as 0.01 μg of SGE was effective at enhancing viremia, suggesting a potent active salivary factor. Viremia was enhanced when SGE was injected in the same location as virus inoculation from 24 h before virus inoculation through 12 h after virus inoculation. These results were confirmed with mosquito saliva deposited by uninfected mosquitoes. When salivary treatment and virus inoculation were spatially separated, viremia was not enhanced. In summary, the effects of mosquito saliva and SGE were potent, long lasting, and localized, and these studies have implications for virus transmission in nature, where vertebrate hosts are fed upon by both infected and uninfected mosquitoes over time. Furthermore, our model provides a robust system to identify the salivary factor(s) responsible for enhancement of WNV replication. IMPORTANCE Mosquito-borne viruses are a significant class of agents causing emerging infectious diseases. WNV has caused over 18,000 cases of neuroinvasive disease in the United States since its emergence. We have shown that Culex tarsalis mosquito saliva and SGE enhance the replication of WNV. We now demonstrate that saliva and SGE have potent, long

  6. Crystal Structure of West Nile Virus Envelope Glycoprotein Reveals Viral Surface Epitopes

    SciTech Connect

    Kanai,R.; Kar, K.; Anthony, K.; Gould, L.; Ledizet, M.; Fikrig, E.; Marasco, W.; Koski, R.; Modis, Y.

    2006-01-01

    West Nile virus, a member of the Flavivirus genus, causes fever that can progress to life-threatening encephalitis. The major envelope glycoprotein, E, of these viruses mediates viral attachment and entry by membrane fusion. We have determined the crystal structure of a soluble fragment of West Nile virus E. The structure adopts the same overall fold as that of the E proteins from dengue and tick-borne encephalitis viruses. The conformation of domain II is different from that in other prefusion E structures, however, and resembles the conformation of domain II in postfusion E structures. The epitopes of neutralizing West Nile virus-specific antibodies map to a region of domain III that is exposed on the viral surface and has been implicated in receptor binding. In contrast, we show that certain recombinant therapeutic antibodies, which cross-neutralize West Nile and dengue viruses, bind a peptide from domain I that is exposed only during the membrane fusion transition. By revealing the details of the molecular landscape of the West Nile virus surface, our structure will assist the design of antiviral vaccines and therapeutics.

  7. Crystal structure of west nile virus envelope glycoprotein reveals viral surface epitopes.

    PubMed

    Kanai, Ryuta; Kar, Kalipada; Anthony, Karen; Gould, L Hannah; Ledizet, Michel; Fikrig, Erol; Marasco, Wayne A; Koski, Raymond A; Modis, Yorgo

    2006-11-01

    West Nile virus, a member of the Flavivirus genus, causes fever that can progress to life-threatening encephalitis. The major envelope glycoprotein, E, of these viruses mediates viral attachment and entry by membrane fusion. We have determined the crystal structure of a soluble fragment of West Nile virus E. The structure adopts the same overall fold as that of the E proteins from dengue and tick-borne encephalitis viruses. The conformation of domain II is different from that in other prefusion E structures, however, and resembles the conformation of domain II in postfusion E structures. The epitopes of neutralizing West Nile virus-specific antibodies map to a region of domain III that is exposed on the viral surface and has been implicated in receptor binding. In contrast, we show that certain recombinant therapeutic antibodies, which cross-neutralize West Nile and dengue viruses, bind a peptide from domain I that is exposed only during the membrane fusion transition. By revealing the details of the molecular landscape of the West Nile virus surface, our structure will assist the design of antiviral vaccines and therapeutics.

  8. West Nile Virus in the United States — A Historical Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Roehrig, John T.

    2013-01-01

    Prior to 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) was a bit player in the screenplay of global vector-borne viral diseases. First discovered in the West Nile District of Uganda in 1937, this Culex sp.-transmitted virus was known for causing small human febrile outbreaks in Africa and the Middle East. Prior to 1995, the last major human WNV outbreak was in the 1950s in Israel. The epidemiology and ecology of WNV began to change in the mid-1990s when an epidemic of human encephalitis occurred in Romania. The introduction of WNV into Eastern Europe was readily explained by bird migration between Africa and Europe. The movement of WNV from Africa to Europe could not, however, predict its surprising jump across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City and the surrounding areas of the United States (U.S.). This movement of WNV from the Eastern to Western Hemisphere in 1999, and its subsequent dissemination throughout two continents in less than ten years is widely recognized as one of the most significant events in arbovirology during the last two centuries. This paper documents the early events of the introduction into and the spread of WNV in the Western Hemisphere. PMID:24335779

  9. Ocular involvement in patients infected by the West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Koevary, Steven B

    2005-10-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne RNA virus for which there is no treatment, began emerging as a threat to health in the United States in 1999. Since then, its frequency and apparent clinical severity have increased. Patients with severe disease may experience ocular complications that include pain, vitreous inflammation, nonrelapsing chorioretinitis, retinal vasculitis, chorioretinal scarring, optic neuritis, and retinal hemorrhages. Age appears to be a risk factor for the development of ocular symptoms. Most patients with ocular involvement report floaters or decreased vision. Many ocular inflammatory conditions with an associated underlying systemic cause often present with chorioretinitis. However, the characteristic distribution and linear array or scattered pattern of the chorioretinal lesions seen in WNV is distinctive. The foregoing notwithstanding, other multifocal choroidopathies must be considered including syphilis, ocular histoplasmosis, multifocal choroiditis, tuberculosis, and sarcoid. Although topical steroids were reported to resolve WNV-induced uveitis and its associated keratic precipitates, most cases resolved irrespective of treatment, and relapses were uncommon. It is important for the eye care professional to be alert to the possible presence of WNV, particularly in older patients who present with ocular symptoms during mosquito season. Thus, a thorough ocular evaluation should include a dilated fundus examination and, when indicated, fluorescein angiography should be performed in patients suspected of being infected with WNV.

  10. Purification and crystallization of dengue and West Nile virus NS2B–NS3 complexes

    SciTech Connect

    D’Arcy, Allan Chaillet, Maxime; Schiering, Nikolaus; Villard, Frederic; Lim, Siew Pheng; Lefeuvre, Peggy; Erbel, Paul

    2006-02-01

    Crystals of dengue serotype 2 and West Nile virus NS2B–NS3 protease complexes have been obtained and the crystals of both diffract to useful resolution. Sample homogeneity was essential for obtaining X-ray-quality crystals of the dengue protease. Controlled proteolysis produced a crystallizable fragment of the apo West Nile virus NS2B–NS3 and crystals were also obtained in the presence of a peptidic inhibitor. Both dengue and West Nile virus infections are an increasing risk to humans, not only in tropical and subtropical areas, but also in North America and parts of Europe. These viral infections are generally transmitted by mosquitoes, but may also be tick-borne. Infection usually results in mild flu-like symptoms, but can also cause encephalitis and fatalities. Approximately 2799 severe West Nile virus cases were reported this year in the United States, resulting in 102 fatalities. With this alarming increase in the number of West Nile virus infections in western countries and the fact that dengue virus already affects millions of people per year in tropical and subtropical climates, there is a real need for effective medicines. A possible therapeutic target to combat these viruses is the protease, which is essential for virus replication. In order to provide structural information to help to guide a lead identification and optimization program, crystallizations of the NS2B–NS3 protease complexes from both dengue and West Nile viruses have been initiated. Crystals that diffract to high resolution, suitable for three-dimensional structure determinations, have been obtained.

  11. Review of West Nile virus epidemiology in Italy and report of a case of West Nile virus encephalitis.

    PubMed

    Delbue, Serena; Ferrante, Pasquale; Mariotto, Sara; Zanusso, Gianluigi; Pavone, Antonino; Chinaglia, Mauro; L'Erario, Roberto; Monaco, Salvatore; Ferrari, Sergio

    2014-10-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus that causes neurological disorders in less than 1 % of infected subjects. Human cases of WNV-associated fever and/or neurological disorders have been reported in Italy since 2008. The first outbreak occurred in the northeastern region of Italy surrounding the Po River and was caused by the Po River lineage 1 strain, and since then, WNV infections have been reported in several regions of central Italy. Although the virus is highly genetically conserved, stochastic mutations in its genome may lead to the emergence of new strains, as was observed in Italy in 2011 with the identification of two new lineage 1 strains, the WNV Piave and WNV Livenza strains. To help further define WNV epidemiology in Italy, we describe a case of an Italian man living in the Po River area who developed fatal encephalitis in 2009 due to infection with the WNV Piave strain. This finding supports the notion that the Piave strain has been circulating in this area of Italy for 2 years longer than was previously believed.

  12. Climate change impacts on West Nile virus transmission in a global context

    PubMed Central

    Paz, Shlomit

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), the most widely distributed virus of the encephalitic flaviviruses, is a vector-borne pathogen of global importance. The transmission cycle exists in rural and urban areas where the virus infects birds, humans, horses and other mammals. Multiple factors impact the transmission and distribution of WNV, related to the dynamics and interactions between pathogen, vector, vertebrate hosts and environment. Hence, among other drivers, weather conditions have direct and indirect influences on vector competence (the ability to acquire, maintain and transmit the virus), on the vector population dynamic and on the virus replication rate within the mosquito, which are mostly weather dependent. The importance of climatic factors (temperature, precipitation, relative humidity and winds) as drivers in WNV epidemiology is increasing under conditions of climate change. Indeed, recent changes in climatic conditions, particularly increased ambient temperature and fluctuations in rainfall amounts, contributed to the maintenance (endemization process) of WNV in various locations in southern Europe, western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, the Canadian Prairies, parts of the USA and Australia. As predictions show that the current trends are expected to continue, for better preparedness, any assessment of future transmission of WNV should take into consideration the impacts of climate change. PMID:25688020

  13. Climate change impacts on West Nile virus transmission in a global context.

    PubMed

    Paz, Shlomit

    2015-04-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), the most widely distributed virus of the encephalitic flaviviruses, is a vector-borne pathogen of global importance. The transmission cycle exists in rural and urban areas where the virus infects birds, humans, horses and other mammals. Multiple factors impact the transmission and distribution of WNV, related to the dynamics and interactions between pathogen, vector, vertebrate hosts and environment. Hence, among other drivers, weather conditions have direct and indirect influences on vector competence (the ability to acquire, maintain and transmit the virus), on the vector population dynamic and on the virus replication rate within the mosquito, which are mostly weather dependent. The importance of climatic factors (temperature, precipitation, relative humidity and winds) as drivers in WNV epidemiology is increasing under conditions of climate change. Indeed, recent changes in climatic conditions, particularly increased ambient temperature and fluctuations in rainfall amounts, contributed to the maintenance (endemization process) of WNV in various locations in southern Europe, western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, the Canadian Prairies, parts of the USA and Australia. As predictions show that the current trends are expected to continue, for better preparedness, any assessment of future transmission of WNV should take into consideration the impacts of climate change. PMID:25688020

  14. Climate change impacts on West Nile virus transmission in a global context.

    PubMed

    Paz, Shlomit

    2015-04-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), the most widely distributed virus of the encephalitic flaviviruses, is a vector-borne pathogen of global importance. The transmission cycle exists in rural and urban areas where the virus infects birds, humans, horses and other mammals. Multiple factors impact the transmission and distribution of WNV, related to the dynamics and interactions between pathogen, vector, vertebrate hosts and environment. Hence, among other drivers, weather conditions have direct and indirect influences on vector competence (the ability to acquire, maintain and transmit the virus), on the vector population dynamic and on the virus replication rate within the mosquito, which are mostly weather dependent. The importance of climatic factors (temperature, precipitation, relative humidity and winds) as drivers in WNV epidemiology is increasing under conditions of climate change. Indeed, recent changes in climatic conditions, particularly increased ambient temperature and fluctuations in rainfall amounts, contributed to the maintenance (endemization process) of WNV in various locations in southern Europe, western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, the Canadian Prairies, parts of the USA and Australia. As predictions show that the current trends are expected to continue, for better preparedness, any assessment of future transmission of WNV should take into consideration the impacts of climate change.

  15. Antibody response of five bird species after vaccination with a killed West Nile virus vaccine.

    PubMed

    Okeson, Danelle M; Llizo, Shirley Yeo; Miller, Christine L; Glaser, Amy L

    2007-06-01

    West Nile virus has been associated with numerous bird mortalities in the United States since 1999. Five avian species at three zoological parks were selected to assess the antibody response to vaccination for West Nile virus: black-footed penguins (Spheniscus demersus), little blue penguins (Eudyptula minor), American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber), Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis), and Attwater's prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri). All birds were vaccinated intramuscularly at least twice with a commercially available inactivated whole virus vaccine (Innovator). Significant differences in antibody titer over time were detected for black-footed penguins and both flamingo species.

  16. Thermal preference predicts animal personality in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus.

    PubMed

    Cerqueira, Marco; Rey, Sonia; Silva, Tome; Featherstone, Zoe; Crumlish, Margaret; MacKenzie, Simon

    2016-09-01

    Environmental temperature gradients provide habitat structure in which fish orientate and individual thermal choice may reflect an essential integrated response to the environment. The use of subtle thermal gradients likely impacts upon specific physiological and behavioural processes reflected as a suite of traits described by animal personality. In this study, we examine the relationship between thermal choice, animal personality and the impact of infection upon this interaction. We predicted that thermal choice in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus reflects distinct personality traits and that under a challenge individuals exhibit differential thermal distribution. Nile tilapia were screened following two different protocols: 1) a suite of individual behavioural tests to screen for personality and 2) thermal choice in a custom-built tank with a thermal gradient (TCH tank) ranging from 21 to 33 °C. A first set of fish were screened for behaviour and then thermal preference, and a second set were tested in the opposite fashion: thermal then behaviour. The final thermal distribution of the fish after 48 h was assessed reflecting final thermal preferendum. Additionally, fish were then challenged using a bacterial Streptococcus iniae model infection to assess the behavioural fever response of proactive and reactive fish. Results showed that individuals with preference for higher temperatures were also classified as proactive with behavioural tests and reactive contemporaries chose significantly lower water temperatures. All groups exhibited behavioural fever recovering personality-specific thermal preferences after 5 days. Our results show that thermal preference can be used as a proxy to assess personality traits in Nile tilapia and it is a central factor to understand the adaptive meaning of animal personality within a population. Importantly, response to infection by expressing behavioural fever overrides personality-related thermal choice. PMID:27219014

  17. Thermal preference predicts animal personality in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus.

    PubMed

    Cerqueira, Marco; Rey, Sonia; Silva, Tome; Featherstone, Zoe; Crumlish, Margaret; MacKenzie, Simon

    2016-09-01

    Environmental temperature gradients provide habitat structure in which fish orientate and individual thermal choice may reflect an essential integrated response to the environment. The use of subtle thermal gradients likely impacts upon specific physiological and behavioural processes reflected as a suite of traits described by animal personality. In this study, we examine the relationship between thermal choice, animal personality and the impact of infection upon this interaction. We predicted that thermal choice in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus reflects distinct personality traits and that under a challenge individuals exhibit differential thermal distribution. Nile tilapia were screened following two different protocols: 1) a suite of individual behavioural tests to screen for personality and 2) thermal choice in a custom-built tank with a thermal gradient (TCH tank) ranging from 21 to 33 °C. A first set of fish were screened for behaviour and then thermal preference, and a second set were tested in the opposite fashion: thermal then behaviour. The final thermal distribution of the fish after 48 h was assessed reflecting final thermal preferendum. Additionally, fish were then challenged using a bacterial Streptococcus iniae model infection to assess the behavioural fever response of proactive and reactive fish. Results showed that individuals with preference for higher temperatures were also classified as proactive with behavioural tests and reactive contemporaries chose significantly lower water temperatures. All groups exhibited behavioural fever recovering personality-specific thermal preferences after 5 days. Our results show that thermal preference can be used as a proxy to assess personality traits in Nile tilapia and it is a central factor to understand the adaptive meaning of animal personality within a population. Importantly, response to infection by expressing behavioural fever overrides personality-related thermal choice.

  18. Vector competence of the stable fly (Diptera: Muscidae)for West Nile virus.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stable flies, which are notorious pests of cattle and other livestock, were suspected of transmitting West Nile virus (WNV) among American white pelicans at the Medicine Lake Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana in 2006-2007. However the ability of stable flies to transmit the virus was unknown. ...

  19. West Nile virus isolated from Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwest Missouri 2012

    DOE PAGES

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica; Lash, R. Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry; Marvin S. Godsey, Jr.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; et al

    2014-12-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Furthermore, sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology.

  20. Estimating West Nile virus transmission period in Pennsylvania using an optimized degree-day model.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shi; Blanford, Justine I; Fleischer, Shelby J; Hutchinson, Michael; Saunders, Michael C; Thomas, Matthew B

    2013-07-01

    Abstract We provide calibrated degree-day models to predict potential West Nile virus (WNV) transmission periods in Pennsylvania. We begin by following the standard approach of treating the degree-days necessary for the virus to complete the extrinsic incubation period (EIP), and mosquito longevity as constants. This approach failed to adequately explain virus transmission periods based on mosquito surveillance data from 4 locations (Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Williamsport) in Pennsylvania from 2002 to 2008. Allowing the EIP and adult longevity to vary across time and space improved model fit substantially. The calibrated models increase the ability to successfully predict the WNV transmission period in Pennsylvania to 70-80% compared to less than 30% in the uncalibrated model. Model validation showed the optimized models to be robust in 3 of the locations, although still showing errors for Philadelphia. These models and methods could provide useful tools to predict WNV transmission period from surveillance datasets, assess potential WNV risk, and make informed mosquito surveillance strategies.

  1. West Nile virus associations in wild mammals: a synthesis.

    PubMed

    Jeffrey Root, J

    2013-04-01

    Exposures to West Nile virus (WNV) have been documented in a variety of wild mammals in both the New and Old Worlds. This review tabulates at least 100 mammal species with evidence of WNV exposure. Many of these exposures were detected in free-ranging mammals, while several were noted in captive individuals. In addition to exposures, this review discusses experimental infections in terms of the potential for reservoir competence of select wild mammal species. Overall, few experimental infections have been conducted on wild mammals. As such, the role of most wild mammals as potential amplifying hosts for WNV is, to date, uncertain. In most instances, experimental infections of wild mammals with WNV have resulted in no or low-level viremia. Some recent studies have indicated that certain species of tree squirrels (Sciurus spp.), eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), and eastern cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) develop viremia sufficient for infecting some mosquito species. Certain mammalian species, such as tree squirrels, mesopredators, and deer have been suggested as useful species for WNV surveillance. In this review article, the information pertaining to wild mammal associations with WNV is synthesized.

  2. West Nile Virus in Mosquitoes of Iranian Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Bagheri, Masoomeh; Terenius, Olle; Oshaghi, Mohammad Ali; Motazakker, Morteza; Asgari, Sassan; Dabiri, Farrokh; Vatandoost, Hassan; Mohammadi Bavani, Mulood; Chavshin, Ali Reza

    2015-12-01

    The West Nile virus (WNV) transmission cycle includes a wide range of migratory wetland birds as reservoirs, mosquitoes as biological vectors, and equines and humans as dead-end hosts. Despite the presence of potential vector species, there is no information about the existence of WNV in mosquito vectors in Iran. The Iranian West Azerbaijan Province is located in the northwestern part of Iran and has borders with Turkey, Iraq, Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. The current study was conducted to identify the wetland mosquitoes of the West Azerbaijan Province and their infection with WNV. In this study, 2143 specimens were collected, comprising 1541 adults and 602 larvae. Six species belonging to four genera were collected and identified: Anopheles maculipennis sensu lato (s.l.), Culex (Cx.) hortensis, Cx. pipiens s.l., Cx. theileri, Culiseta longiareolata, and Aedes (Ae.) (Ochlerotatus) caspius. In total, 45 pools of mosquitoes were examined. Two of the adult pools collected from the same location showed the presence of WNV in Ae. (Och.) caspius, from Sangar, Makoo County, as confirmed by PCR and sequencing. Due to the discovery of WNV in the mosquito population of the region, and the presence of wetlands and significant populations of migratory birds, the health sector should carefully monitor the factors involved in the cycle of this disease. PMID:26565610

  3. West Nile Virus Encephalitis in a Patient with Neuroendocrine Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Importance. Oftentimes, when patients with metastatic cancer present with acute encephalopathy, it is suspected to be secondary to their underlying malignancy. However, there are multiple causes of delirium such as central nervous system (CNS) infections, electrolyte abnormalities, and drug adverse reactions. Because West Nile Virus (WNV) neuroinvasive disease has a high mortality rate in immunosuppressed patients, a high index of suspicion is required in patients who present with fever, altered mental status, and other neurological symptoms. Observations. Our case report details a single patient with brain metastases who presented with unexplained fever, encephalopathy, and new-onset tremors. Initially, it was assumed that his symptoms were due to his underlying malignancy or seizures. However, because his unexplained fevers persisted, lumbar puncture was pursued. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis included WNV polymerase chain reaction and serologies were ordered which eventually led to diagnosis of WNV encephalitis. Conclusions and Relevance. Patients with metastatic cancer who present with encephalopathy are often evaluated with assumption that malignancy is the underlying etiology. This can lead to delays in diagnosis and possible mistreatment. Our case highlights the importance of maintaining a broad differential diagnosis and an important diagnostic consideration of WNV encephalitis in patients with cancer. PMID:27516915

  4. Factors associated with West Nile virus disease fatalities in horses.

    PubMed

    Epp, Tasha; Waldner, Cheryl; West, Keith; Townsend, Hugh

    2007-11-01

    In 2003, the occurrence and location of horses with clinical signs of West Nile virus infection were identified in the southern portion of Saskatchewan with the help of veterinarians, owners, and the regional laboratory. A total of 133 clinical cases were reported between July 30 and September 19, 2003; however, postseason surveillance suggests that the number of cases was underestimated. The case fatality rate was 43.8% (95% CI 35.2, 52.4). Factors associated with fatality in clinical cases included sex, week of onset of clinical signs, and coat color. Reported clinical cases clustered within regional health authority districts, suggesting regional differences in geographic factors, potentially including climate and mosquito control, that could contribute to the risk of disease. However, most of the variation in the risk of fatality in clinical cases is explained at the individual level rather than the Regional Health Authority level, which suggests the outcome of clinical disease is primarily determined by characteristics of, or management factors affecting, the individual horse.

  5. West Nile virus surveillance in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Gleiser, Raquel M; Mackay, Andrew J; Roy, Alma; Yates, Mathew M; Vaeth, Randy H; Faget, Guy M; Folsom, Alex E; Augustine, William F; Wells, Roderick A; Perich, Michael J

    2007-03-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was detected for the first time in Louisiana in the fall of 2001. Surveillance data collected from East Baton Rouge Parish in 2002 were examined to establish baseline data on WNV activity, to support the current design of disease surveillance programs, and to target vector control efforts in the parish. The first indications of WNV activity were from a dead Northern Cardinal collected in February and from a live male cardinal sampled on 14 March. In mosquito pools, WNV was first detected on June 11. The onset of the first human case and the first detection of WNV in sentinel chickens occurred concurrently on June 24. The number of reported human cases and minimum infection rates in mosquitoes peaked in July. WNV prevalence in wild birds increased in late August and was highest in December. WNV-positive wild birds and mosquito pools were detected an average of 31 and 59 days in advance of the onset date of reported human cases, respectively, within 5 km of the residence of a human case. Antibodies to WNV were detected in sera from 7 (Northern Cardinal, House Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Jay, Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and White-throated Sparrow) of the 42 wild bird species tested. Wild bird serology indicated WNV activity during the winter. Out of 18 mosquito species tested, the only species found positive for WNV was Culex quinquefasciatus, a result suggesting that this species was the primary epizootic/epidemic vector.

  6. Does reservoir host mortality enhance transmission of West Nile virus?

    PubMed Central

    Foppa, Ivo M; Spielman, Andrew

    2007-01-01

    Background Since its 1999 emergence in New York City, West Nile virus (WNV) has become the most important and widespread cause of mosquito-transmitted disease in North America. Its sweeping spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast was accompanied by widespread mortality among wild birds, especially corvids. Only sporadic avian mortality had previously been associated with this infection in the Old World. Here, we examine the possibility that reservoir host mortality may intensify transmission, both by concentrating vector mosquitoes on remaining hosts and by preventing the accumulation of "herd immunity". Results Inspection of the Ross-Macdonald expression of the basic reproductive number (R0) suggests that this quantity may increase with reservoir host mortality. Computer simulation confirms this finding and indicates that the level of virulence is positively associated with the numbers of infectious mosquitoes by the end of the epizootic. The presence of reservoir incompetent hosts in even moderate numbers largely eliminated the transmission-enhancing effect of host mortality. Local host die-off may prevent mosquitoes to "waste" infectious blood meals on immune host and may thus facilitate perpetuation and spread of transmission. Conclusion Under certain conditions, host mortality may enhance transmission of WNV and similarly maintained arboviruses and thus facilitate their emergence and spread. The validity of the assumptions upon which this argument is built need to be empirically examined. PMID:17498307

  7. West Nile Virus Outbreak in North American Owls, Ontario, 2002

    PubMed Central

    Barker, Ian K.; Lindsay, Robbin; Dibernardo, Antonia; McKeever, Katherine; Hunter, Bruce

    2004-01-01

    From July to September 2002, an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) caused a high number of deaths in captive owls at the Owl Foundation, Vineland, Ontario, Canada. Peak death rates occurred in mid-August, and the epidemiologic curve resembled that of corvids in the surrounding Niagara region. The outbreak occurred in the midst of a louse fly (Icosta americana, family Hippoboscidae) infestation. Of the flies tested, 16 (88.9 %) of 18 contained WNV RNA. Species with northern native breeding range and birds >1 year of age were at significantly higher risk for WNV-related deaths. Species with northern native breeding range and of medium-to-large body size were at significantly higher risk for exposure to WNV. Taxonomic relations (at the subfamily level) did not significantly affect exposure to WNV or WNV-related deaths. Northern native breeding range and medium-to-large body size were associated with earlier death within the outbreak period. Of the survivors, 69 (75.8 %) of 91 were seropositive for WNV. PMID:15663850

  8. Towards an Early Warning System for Forecasting Human West Nile Virus Incidence

    PubMed Central

    Manore, Carrie A.; Davis, Justin K.; Christofferson, Rebecca C.; Wesson, Dawn M.; Hyman, James M.; Mores, Christopher N.

    2014-01-01

    We have identified environmental and demographic variables, available in January, that predict the relative magnitude and spatial distribution of West Nile virus (WNV) for the following summer. The yearly magnitude and spatial distribution for WNV incidence in humans in the United States (US) have varied wildly in the past decade. Mosquito control measures are expensive and having better estimates of the expected relative size of a future WNV outbreak can help in planning for the mitigation efforts and costs. West Nile virus is spread primarily between mosquitoes and birds; humans are an incidental host. Previous efforts have demonstrated a strong correlation between environmental factors and the incidence of WNV. A predictive model for human cases must include both the environmental factors for the mosquito-bird epidemic and an anthropological model for the risk of humans being bitten by a mosquito. Using weather data and demographic data available in January for every county in the US, we use logistic regression analysis to predict the probability that the county will have at least one WNV case the following summer. We validate our approach and the spatial and temporal WNV incidence in the US from 2005 to 2013. The methodology was applied to forecast the 2014 WNV incidence in late January 2014. We find the most significant predictors for a county to have a case of WNV to be the mean minimum temperature in January, the deviation of this minimum temperature from the expected minimum temperature, the total population of the county, publicly available samples of local bird populations, and if the county had a case of WNV the previous year. PMID:25914857

  9. Towards an Early Warning System for Forecasting Human West Nile Virus Incidence

    PubMed Central

    Manore, Carrie A.; Davis, Justin; Christofferson, Rebecca C.; Wesson, Dawn; Hyman, James M.; Mores, Christopher N.

    2014-01-01

    We have identified environmental and demographic variables, available in January, that predict the relative magnitude and spatial distribution of West Nile virus (WNV) for the following summer. The yearly magnitude and spatial distribution for WNV incidence in humans in the United States (US) have varied wildly in the past decade. Mosquito control measures are expensive and having better estimates of the expected relative size of a future WNV outbreak can help in planning for the mitigation efforts and costs. West Nile virus is spread primarily between mosquitoes and birds; humans are an incidental host. Previous efforts have demonstrated a strong correlation between environmental factors and the incidence of WNV. A predictive model for human cases must include both the environmental factors for the mosquito-bird epidemic and an anthropological model for the risk of humans being bitten by a mosquito. Using weather data and demographic data available in January for every county in the US, we use logistic regression analysis to predict the probability that the county will have at least one WNV case the following summer. We validate our approach and the spatial and temporal WNV incidence in the US from 2005 to 2013. The methodology was applied to forecast the 2014 WNV incidence in late January 2014. We find the most significant predictors for a county to have a case of WNV to be the mean minimum temperature in January, the deviation of this minimum temperature from the expected minimum temperature, the total population of the county, publicly available samples of local bird populations, and if the county had a case of WNV the previous year. PMID:24611126

  10. Monitoring of West Nile virus infections in Germany.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, U; Seidowski, D; Angenvoort, J; Eiden, M; Müller, K; Nowotny, N; Groschup, M H

    2012-09-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus that is maintained in an enzootic cycle between ornithophilic mosquitoes, mainly of the Culex genus, and certain wild bird species. Other bird species like ravens, jays and raptors are highly susceptible to the infection and may develop deadly encephalitis, while further species of birds are only going through subclinical infection. The objective of this study was to continue in years 2009-2011 the serological and molecular surveillance in wild birds in Germany (see Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 10, 639) and to expand these investigations for the first time also to sera from domestic poultry and horses collected between 2005 and 2009. All three cohorts function as indicators for the endemic circulation of WNV. The presence of WNV-specific antibodies was detected in all samples by virus neutralization test (VNT), indirect immunofluorescence test (IFT) and/or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The presence of WNV genomes was monitored in relevant sera using two qRT-PCRs that amplify lineage 1 and 2 strains. A total of 364 migratory and resident wild bird serum samples (with emphasis on Passeriformes and Falconiformes) as well as 1119 serum samples from domestic poultry and 1282 sera from horses were analysed. With the exception of one hooded crow, antibody carriers were exclusively found in migratory birds, but not in resident birds/domestic poultry or in local horses. Crows are facultative, short-distance winter migrants in Germany. WNV-specific nucleic acids could not be demonstrated in any of the samples. According to these data, there is no convincing evidence for indigenous WNV infections in equines and in wild/domestic birds in Germany. However, since a few years, WNV infections are endemic in other European countries such as Austria, Hungary, Greece and Italy, a state-of-the-art surveillance system for the detection of incursions of WNV into Germany deems mandatory.

  11. First isolation of West Nile virus from a dromedary camel

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Sunitha; Wernery, Ulrich; Teng, Jade LL; Wernery, Renate; Huang, Yi; Patteril, Nissy AG; Chan, Kwok-Hung; Elizabeth, Shyna K; Fan, Rachel YY; Lau, Susanna KP; Kinne, Jörg; Woo, Patrick CY

    2016-01-01

    Although antibodies against West Nile virus (WNV) have been detected in the sera of dromedaries in the Middle East, North Africa and Spain, no WNV has been isolated or amplified from dromedary or Bactrian camels. In this study, WNV was isolated from Vero cells inoculated with both nasal swab and pooled trachea/lung samples from a dromedary calf in Dubai. Complete-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis using the near-whole-genome polyprotein revealed that the virus belonged to lineage 1a. There was no clustering of the present WNV with other WNVs isolated in other parts of the Middle East. Within lineage 1a, the dromedary WNV occupied a unique position, although it was most closely related to other WNVs of cluster 2. Comparative analysis revealed that the putative E protein encoded by the genome possessed the original WNV E protein glycosylation motif NYS at E154–156, which contained the N-linked glycosylation site at N-154 associated with increased WNV pathogenicity and neuroinvasiveness. In the putative NS1 protein, the A70S substitution observed in other cluster 2 WNVs and P250, which has been implicated in neuroinvasiveness, were present. In addition, the foo motif in the putative NS2A protein, which has been implicated in neuroinvasiveness, was detected. Notably, the amino-acid residues at 14 positions in the present dromedary WNV genome differed from those in most of the closely related WNV strains in cluster 2 of lineage 1a, with the majority of these differences observed in the putative E and NS5 proteins. The present study is the first to demonstrate the isolation of WNV from dromedaries. This finding expands the possible reservoirs of WNV and sources of WNV infection. PMID:27273223

  12. Vector-Virus Interactions and Transmission Dynamics of West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Ciota, Alexander T.; Kramer, Laura D.

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV; Flavivirus; Flaviviridae) is the cause of the most widespread arthropod-borne viral disease in the world and the largest outbreak of neuroinvasive disease ever observed. Mosquito-borne outbreaks are influenced by intrinsic (e.g., vector and viral genetics, vector and host competence, vector life-history traits) and extrinsic (e.g., temperature, rainfall, human land use) factors that affect virus activity and mosquito biology in complex ways. The concept of vectorial capacity integrates these factors to address interactions of the virus with the arthropod host, leading to a clearer understanding of their complex interrelationships, how they affect transmission of vector-borne disease, and how they impact human health. Vertebrate factors including host competence, population dynamics, and immune status also affect transmission dynamics. The complexity of these interactions are further exacerbated by the fact that not only can divergent hosts differentially alter the virus, but the virus also can affect both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts in ways that significantly alter patterns of virus transmission. This chapter concentrates on selected components of the virus-vector-vertebrate interrelationship, focusing specifically on how interactions between vector, virus, and environment shape the patterns and intensity of WNV transmission. PMID:24351794

  13. An epidemiological model for West Nile virus: invasion analysis and control applications.

    PubMed Central

    Wonham, Marjorie J.; de-Camino-Beck, Tomás; Lewis, Mark A.

    2004-01-01

    Infectious diseases present ecological and public health challenges that can be addressed with mathematical models. Certain pathogens, however, including the emerging West Nile virus (WN) in North America, exhibit a complex seasonal ecology that is not readily analysed with standard epidemiological methods. We develop a single-season susceptible-infectious-removed (SIR) model of WN cross-infection between birds and mosquitoes, incorporating specific features unique to WN ecology. We obtain the disease reproduction number, R0, and show that mosquito control decreases, but bird control increases, the chance of an outbreak. We provide a simple new analytical and graphical method for determining, from standard public health indicators, necessary mosquito control levels. We extend this method to a seasonally variable mosquito population and outline a multi-year model framework. The model's numerical simulations predict disease levels that are consistent with independent data. PMID:15129960

  14. Avian hosts for West Nile virus in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, 2002.

    PubMed

    Komar, Nicholas; Panella, Nicholas A; Langevin, Stanley A; Brault, Aaron C; Amador, Manuel; Edwards, Eric; Owen, Jennifer C

    2005-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) infections in free-ranging birds were studied in Slidell, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, after a human encephalitis outbreak peaked there in July 2002. Seroprevalence in resident, free-ranging wild birds in one suburban site was 25% and 24% in August and October, respectively, indicating that most transmission had ceased by early August. Mortality rates, seroprevalence rates, host competence, and crude population estimates were used in mathematical models to predict actual infection rates, population impacts, and importance as amplifying hosts for several common passerine birds. Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) and house sparrow (Passer domesticus) were the principal amplifying hosts, but blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) and northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) also contributed. The blue jay population was reduced by an estimated 47%. A variety of passerine bird species combined to play an important role as amplifying hosts in the WNV transmission cycle.

  15. Localization of West Nile Virus in monkey brain: double staining antigens immunohistochemically of neurons, neuroglia cells and West Nile Virus.

    PubMed

    He, Xianli; Ren, Junping; Xu, Fangling; Ferguson, Monique R; Li, Guangyu

    2009-11-15

    West Nile virus (WNV) can cause encephalitis or meningitis that affects brain tissue, which can also lead to permanent neurological damage that can be fatal. To our knowledge, no consistent double immunohistochemical staining of neurons, neuroglia cells, and WNV has yet been reported. To establish a method for performing double-label immunohistochemical detection of neurons, neuroglia cells and WNV, examining the pathological characteristics of WNV-infected neurons, neuroglia cells, and investigating distribution of WNV in monkey brain, paraffin-embedded monkey brain tissue were retrospectively studied by immunohistochemical staining of neurons, neuroglia cells and WNV. Antibodies against neuron-specific enolase (NSE), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and WNV were used to develop the method of double-label immunohistochemical staining, which allowed independent assessment of neuron status and WNV distribution. A range of immunohistochemical WNV infection in monkey brain was observed in both neurons and neuroglia cells in terms of the thickness of lesion staining, and the WNV staining was slightly higher in neuroglia cells than in neurons. All these findings suggest that WNV invasion in the brain plays a crucial role in neurological damage by inducing central nervous system (CNS) cell dysfunction or cell death directly.

  16. Seroprevalence of St. Louis encephalitis virus and West Nile virus (Flavivirus, Flaviviridae) in horses, Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Burgueño, Analía; Spinsanti, Lorena; Díaz, Luis Adrián; Rivarola, María Elisa; Arbiza, Juan; Contigiani, Marta; Delfraro, Adriana

    2013-01-01

    St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) and West Nile virus (WNV) belong to the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex (Flavivirus genus, Flaviviridae family). They show antigenic close relationships and share many similarities in their ecology. Both are responsible for serious human diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of neutralizing antibodies to these viruses in horses from Uruguay. To do this, 425 horse sera were collected in 2007 and analyzed by plaque reduction neutralization tests. As a result, 205 sera (48.2%) were found positive for SLEV, with titers ranging between 10 and 80. Two sera remained inconclusive, since they showed low titers to WNV and SLEV (10 and 20), not allowing us to demonstrate activity of WNV in our territory. This is the first report of circulation of SLEV in horses in Uruguay.

  17. Economic cost analysis of West Nile virus outbreak, Sacramento County, California, USA, 2005.

    PubMed

    Barber, Loren M; Schleier, Jerome J; Peterson, Robert K D

    2010-03-01

    In 2005, an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) disease occurred in Sacramento County, California; 163 human cases were reported. In response to WNV surveillance indicating increased WNV activity, the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District conducted an emergency aerial spray. We determined the economic impact of the outbreak, including the vector control event and the medical cost to treat WNV disease. WNV disease in Sacramento County cost approximately $2.28 million for medical treatment and patients' productivity loss for both West Nile fever and West Nile neuroinvasive disease. Vector control cost approximately $701,790, including spray procedures and overtime hours. The total economic impact of WNV was $2.98 million. A cost-benefit analysis indicated that only 15 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease would need to be prevented to make the emergency spray cost-effective. PMID:20202424

  18. Economic cost analysis of West Nile virus outbreak, Sacramento County, California, USA, 2005.

    PubMed

    Barber, Loren M; Schleier, Jerome J; Peterson, Robert K D

    2010-03-01

    In 2005, an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) disease occurred in Sacramento County, California; 163 human cases were reported. In response to WNV surveillance indicating increased WNV activity, the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District conducted an emergency aerial spray. We determined the economic impact of the outbreak, including the vector control event and the medical cost to treat WNV disease. WNV disease in Sacramento County cost approximately $2.28 million for medical treatment and patients' productivity loss for both West Nile fever and West Nile neuroinvasive disease. Vector control cost approximately $701,790, including spray procedures and overtime hours. The total economic impact of WNV was $2.98 million. A cost-benefit analysis indicated that only 15 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease would need to be prevented to make the emergency spray cost-effective.

  19. West Nile virus infection in the eastern loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus migrans): pathology, epidemiology, and immunization.

    PubMed

    Bertelsen, Mads F; Olberg, Rolf-Arne; Crawshaw, Graham J; Dibernardo, Antonia; Lindsay, L Robbin; Drebot, Michael; Barker, Ian K

    2004-07-01

    An outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) infection occurred at a captive breeding facility for the endangered eastern loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus migrans) in August 2002. Within 10 d, five birds died; two were found dead, and the others died shortly after showing neurologic signs. West Nile virus was detected in all organs examined using immunohistochemistry, and its viral genome was amplified from brain and kidney samples using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. None of the remaining birds in the colony had antibodies against WNV, which suggests a mortality rate of 100%. After vaccination with a commercial equine WNV vaccine 31 of 37 (84%) of the birds had WNV neutralizing antibodies.

  20. 21 CFR 866.3940 - West Nile virus serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3940 West Nile... detection aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of viral meningitis/encephalitis caused by West...

  1. 21 CFR 866.3940 - West Nile virus serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3940 West Nile... detection aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of viral meningitis/encephalitis caused by West...

  2. 21 CFR 866.3940 - West Nile virus serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3940 West Nile... detection aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of viral meningitis/encephalitis caused by West...

  3. 21 CFR 866.3940 - West Nile virus serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3940 West Nile... detection aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of viral meningitis/encephalitis caused by West...

  4. 21 CFR 866.3940 - West Nile virus serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3940 West Nile... detection aids in the clinical laboratory diagnosis of viral meningitis/encephalitis caused by West...

  5. DIFFERENTIAL IMPACT OF WEST NILE VIRUS ON CALIFORNIA BIRDS.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Sarah S; Barker, Christopher M; Fang, Ying; Armijos, M Veronica; Carroll, Brian D; Husted, Stan; Johnson, Wesley O; Reisen, William K

    2009-01-01

    The strain of West Nile virus (WNV) currently epidemic in North America contains a genetic mutation elevating its virulence in birds, especially species in the family Corvidae. Although dead American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) have been the hallmark of the epidemic, the overall impact of WNV on North America's avifauna remains poorly understood and has not been addressed thoroughly in California. Here, we evaluate variation by species in the effect of WNV on California birds from 2004 to 2007 by using (1) seroprevalence in free-ranging birds, (2) percentage of carcasses of each species reported by the public that tested positive for WNV, (3) mortality determined from experimental infections, and (4) population declines detected by trend analysis of Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Using Bayesian linear models, we extrapolate trends in BBS data from 1980-2003 (pre-WNV) to 2004-2007 (post-WNV). We attribute significant declines from expected abundance trends in areas supporting epiornitics to WNV transmission. We combine risk assessed from each of the four data sets to generate an overall score describing WNV risk by species. The susceptibility of California avifauna to WNV varies widely, with overall risk scores ranging from low for the refractory Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) through high for the susceptible American Crow. Other species at high risk include, in descending order, the House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica), and Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli). Our analyses emphasize the importance of multiple data sources in assessing the effect of an invading pathogen.

  6. DIFFERENTIAL IMPACT OF WEST NILE VIRUS ON CALIFORNIA BIRDS

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, Sarah S.; Barker, Christopher M.; Fang, Ying; Armijos, M. Veronica; Carroll, Brian D.; Husted, Stan; Johnson, Wesley O.; Reisen, William K.

    2010-01-01

    The strain of West Nile virus (WNV) currently epidemic in North America contains a genetic mutation elevating its virulence in birds, especially species in the family Corvidae. Although dead American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) have been the hallmark of the epidemic, the overall impact of WNV on North America’s avifauna remains poorly understood and has not been addressed thoroughly in California. Here, we evaluate variation by species in the effect of WNV on California birds from 2004 to 2007 by using (1) seroprevalence in free-ranging birds, (2) percentage of carcasses of each species reported by the public that tested positive for WNV, (3) mortality determined from experimental infections, and (4) population declines detected by trend analysis of Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Using Bayesian linear models, we extrapolate trends in BBS data from 1980–2003 (pre-WNV) to 2004–2007 (post-WNV). We attribute significant declines from expected abundance trends in areas supporting epiornitics to WNV transmission. We combine risk assessed from each of the four data sets to generate an overall score describing WNV risk by species. The susceptibility of California avifauna to WNV varies widely, with overall risk scores ranging from low for the refractory Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) through high for the susceptible American Crow. Other species at high risk include, in descending order, the House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica), and Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli). Our analyses emphasize the importance of multiple data sources in assessing the effect of an invading pathogen. PMID:20589226

  7. West nile virus encephalitis induced opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Chad J; Said, Sarmad

    2014-04-22

    West Nile virus (WNV) is an arthropod borne neurotropic single stranded RNA flavivirus with <1% developing presenting with neurological disease. Immunocompromised and elderly patients are more prone to developing WNV meningitis or encephalitis. Definitive diagnosis of WNV meningoencephalitis is a combination of clinical suspicion and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) serology. Forty-eight year old Caucasian female presented with a sudden onset of altered mental status after being found unresponsive. She was confused with intermittent bouts of alertness/lethargy and unintelligible responses to questioning. Her medical problems included endometrial cancer that was in remission after undergoing a total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingectomy and postoperative chemotherapy with paclitaxel and carboplatin. Pertinent physical examination revealed muscle strength that was significantly decreased, nuchal rigidity and +2 pitting edema of both lower extremities. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain were negative for any intracranial pathology. CSF analysis was consistent with aseptic meningitis with all CSF serology being negative except for positive WNV antibody. A few days after being admitted she developed involuntary random movements of her eyes and generalized jerking movements (myoclonus). This was determined to be opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome (OMS) induced by the WNV meningoencephalitis. She then received five consecutive days of plasmapheresis with a significant improvement in her neurological status. Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS) is a rare neurological disorder associated with chaotic multidirectional eye movements, myoclonus and less frequently cerebellar ataxia. OMS affects as few as 1 in 10,000,000 people per year. The pathogenesis is not fully understood with the majority of cases of opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome being idiopathic. According to current medical literature there have only been two previous case reports of

  8. DIFFERENTIAL IMPACT OF WEST NILE VIRUS ON CALIFORNIA BIRDS.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Sarah S; Barker, Christopher M; Fang, Ying; Armijos, M Veronica; Carroll, Brian D; Husted, Stan; Johnson, Wesley O; Reisen, William K

    2009-01-01

    The strain of West Nile virus (WNV) currently epidemic in North America contains a genetic mutation elevating its virulence in birds, especially species in the family Corvidae. Although dead American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) have been the hallmark of the epidemic, the overall impact of WNV on North America's avifauna remains poorly understood and has not been addressed thoroughly in California. Here, we evaluate variation by species in the effect of WNV on California birds from 2004 to 2007 by using (1) seroprevalence in free-ranging birds, (2) percentage of carcasses of each species reported by the public that tested positive for WNV, (3) mortality determined from experimental infections, and (4) population declines detected by trend analysis of Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Using Bayesian linear models, we extrapolate trends in BBS data from 1980-2003 (pre-WNV) to 2004-2007 (post-WNV). We attribute significant declines from expected abundance trends in areas supporting epiornitics to WNV transmission. We combine risk assessed from each of the four data sets to generate an overall score describing WNV risk by species. The susceptibility of California avifauna to WNV varies widely, with overall risk scores ranging from low for the refractory Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) through high for the susceptible American Crow. Other species at high risk include, in descending order, the House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica), and Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli). Our analyses emphasize the importance of multiple data sources in assessing the effect of an invading pathogen. PMID:20589226

  9. Isolations of West Nile and Bagaza viruses from mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in central Senegal (Ferlo).

    PubMed

    Traore-Lamizana, M; Zeller, H G; Mondo, M; Hervy, J P; Adam, F; Digoutte, J P

    1994-11-01

    During October-November 1990, 31,497 mosquitoes consisting of 25 different species were collected in Barkedji, Ferlo area (Senegal), and tested for virus infection. Viruse were isolated from 55 of 407 pools. Eighteen pools were found positive for both Bagaza virus (BGA) and West Nile virus (WN). One alphavirus (Babanki [BBK] and 72 flaviviruses (19 BGA, 53 WN) were isolated from Culex poicilipes Theobald (29 WN, 8 BGA), C. neavei Theobald (3 WN, 1 BGA), Mimomyia hispida Theobald (8 WN, 6 BGA, and 1 BBK), M. lacustris Edwards (4 WN, 1 BGA), M. splendens Theobald (6 WN, 2 BGA), Mimomyia. spp. (2 WN), and Aedeomyia africana Neveu-Lemaire (1 WN). These were the first isolations of arboviruses from A. africana and Mimomyia species. C. poicilipes and possibly Mimomyia spp. may be involved in an avian-mosquito cycle of West Nile virus transmission in Senegal.

  10. Metro Atlanta responds to West Nile virus: a coordinated public health response.

    PubMed

    Willis, Juanette

    2005-01-01

    Three and a half million people live in metropolitan Atlanta, in multiple counties with varying population bases, resources, issues and separate boards of health. Historically, public health issues have been managed within each county, with very little sharing of information among counties. The 1999 West Nile virus (WNV) outbreak in the Northeast caused public health officials in Atlanta to recognize the potential for the disease to spread to Georgia and the need to develop a coordinated, multi-jurisdictional response plan. This plan would need to address a new disease with little scientific data to predict how it might behave in a new environment and would also require closely coordinated communication among the local/state public health entities and elected officials. In early 2000, staff from the five health districts in the metro Atlanta area and the state health department voluntarily convened the Metro Atlanta Surveillance Task Force (MASTF) to create the Metro Atlanta West Nile Virus Response Plan. This plan utilizes a coordinated effort encompassing public education, surveillance, and mosquito control. With this plan in place, when the first human case of WNV was detected in Atlanta, the public heard consistent health messages about preventive measures to lower their risk of illness and the metro counties were able to carry out a successful uniform approach to mosquito control. This plan has received recognition by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) as a 2004 Model Practice, demonstrating exemplary and replicable qualities in response to a local public health need. Since the early days of the emergence of WNV in the metro Atlanta area, MASTF has continued to be a viable, evolving entity, managing and anticipating health issues. The MASTF plan is a successful effort to develop consistent policies and procedures for disease surveillance in a heavily populated area with multiple local health departments. PMID:15822839

  11. Surveillance for West Nile Virus in Clinic-admitted Raptors, Colorado

    PubMed Central

    Kratz, Gail; Edwards, Eric; Scherpelz, Judy; Bowen, Richard; Komar, Nicholas

    2007-01-01

    In 2005, 13.5% of clinic-admitted raptors in northern Colorado tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). Clinic-admitted–raptor surveillance detected WNV activity nearly 14 weeks earlier than other surveillance systems. WNV surveillance using live raptor admissions to rehabilitation clinics may offer a novel surveillance method and should be considered along with other techniques already in use. PMID:17479898

  12. West Nile Virus Activity--United States, October 13-19, 2004.

    PubMed

    2004-10-22

    During October 13-19, a total of 200 cases of human West Nile virus (WNV) illness were reported from 20 states (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming). PMID:15499683

  13. West Nile virus from blood donors, vertebrates, and mosquitoes, Puerto Rico, 2007.

    PubMed

    Hunsperger, Elizabeth A; McElroy, Kate L; Bessoff, Kovi; Colón, Candimar; Barrera, Roberto; Muñoz-Jordán, Jorge L

    2009-08-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was isolated from a human blood donor, a dead falcon, and mosquitoes in Puerto Rico in 2007. Phylogenetic analysis of the 4 isolates suggests a recent introduction of lineage I WNV that is closely related to WNV currently circulating in North America. PMID:19751597

  14. Year-round West Nile Virus Activity, Gulf Coast Region, Texas and Louisiana

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Ray; Siirin, Marina; Randle, Yvonne; Sargent, Chris; Guzman, Hilda; Wuithiranyagool, Taweesak; Higgs, Stephen; Vanlandingham, Dana L.; Bala, Adil A.; Haas, Keith; Zerinque, Brian

    2004-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was detected in 11 dead birds and two mosquito pools collected in east Texas and southern Louisiana during surveillance studies in the winter of 2003 to 2004. These findings suggest that WNV is active throughout the year in this region of the United States. PMID:15498169

  15. Early-season avian deaths from West Nile virus as warnings of human infection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guptill, S.C.; Julian, K.G.; Campbell, G.L.; Price, S.D.; Marfin, A.A.

    2003-01-01

    An analysis of 2001 and 2002 West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance data shows that counties that report WNV-infected dead birds early in the transmission season are more likely to report subsequent WNV disease cases in humans than are counties that do not report early WNV-infected dead birds.

  16. Mutation in West Nile Virus Structural Protein prM during Human Infection

    PubMed Central

    Lanciotti, Robert S.; Hindiyeh, Musa; Keller, Nathan; Milo, Ron; Mayan, Shlomo; Mendelson, Ella

    2016-01-01

    A mutation leading to substitution of a key amino acid in the prM protein of West Nile virus (WNV) occurred during persistent infection of an immunocompetent patient. WNV RNA persisted in the patient’s urine and serum in the presence of low-level neutralizing antibodies. This case demonstrates active replication of WNV during persistent infection. PMID:27322782

  17. Spatially explicit West Nile virus risk modeling in Santa Clara County, California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A previously created Geographic Information Systems model designed to identify regions of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission risk is tested and calibrated in Santa Clara County, California. American Crows that died from WNV infection in 2005 provide the spatial and temporal ground truth. Model param...

  18. Spatially Explicit West Nile Virus Risk Modeling in Santa Clara County, CA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A geographic information systems model designed to identify regions of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission risk was tested and calibrated with data collected in Santa Clara County, California. American Crows that died from WNV infection in 2005, provided spatial and temporal ground truth. When the mo...

  19. West Nile virus documented in Indonesia from acute febrile illness specimens.

    PubMed

    Myint, Khin Saw Aye; Kosasih, Herman; Artika, I Made; Perkasa, Aditya; Puspita, Mita; Ma'roef, Chairin Nisa; Antonjaya, Ungke; Ledermann, Jeremy P; Powers, Ann M; Alisjahbana, Bachti

    2014-02-01

    We report the presence of West Nile virus in a cryopreserved, dengue-negative serum specimen collected from an acute fever case on Java in 2004-2005. The strain belongs to genotype lineage 2, which has recently been implicated in human outbreaks in Europe.

  20. Domestic goose as a model for West Nile virus vaccine efficacy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    West Nile virus (WNV) is an emergent pathogen in the Americas, first reported in New York during 1999, and has since spread across the United States (USA), Central and South America causing neurological disease in humans, horses and some bird species, including domestic geese. No WNV vaccines are li...

  1. West Nile virus and other arboviral diseases--United States, 2012.

    PubMed

    2013-06-28

    Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes and ticks. West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of domestically acquired arboviral disease in the United States. However, several other arboviruses also cause sporadic cases and seasonal outbreaks of neuroinvasive disease (e.g., meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis). In 2012, CDC received reports of 5,780 nationally notifiable arboviral disease cases (excluding dengue). A large multistate outbreak of WNV disease accounted for 5,674 (98%) of reported cases, the highest number reported since 2003. Other reported etiologies included Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), Powassan virus (POWV), St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), and California serogroup viruses such as La Crosse virus (LACV) and Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV). Arboviruses continue to cause serious illness in substantial numbers of persons in the United States. Maintaining surveillance remains important to identify outbreaks and guide prevention efforts.

  2. Detection and sequencing of West Nile virus RNA from human urine and serum samples during the 2014 seasonal period.

    PubMed

    Nagy, Anna; Bán, Enikő; Nagy, Orsolya; Ferenczi, Emőke; Farkas, Ágnes; Bányai, Krisztián; Farkas, Szilvia; Takács, Mária

    2016-07-01

    West Nile virus, a widely distributed mosquito-borne flavivirus, is responsible for numerous animal and human infections in Europe, Africa and the Americas. In Hungary, the average number of human infections falls between 10 and 20 cases each year. The severity of clinically manifesting infections varies widely from the milder form of West Nile fever to West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND). In routine laboratory diagnosis of human West Nile virus infections, serological methods are mainly applied due to the limited duration of viremia. However, recent studies suggest that detection of West Nile virus RNA in urine samples may be useful as a molecular diagnostic test for these infections. The Hungarian National Reference Laboratory for Viral Zoonoses serologically confirmed eleven acute human infections during the 2014 seasonal period. In three patients with neurological symptoms, viral RNA was detected from both urine and serum specimens, albeit for a longer period and in higher copy numbers with urine. Phylogenetic analysis of the NS3 genomic region of three strains and the complete genome of one selected strain demonstrated that all three patients had lineage-2 West Nile virus infections. Our findings reaffirm the utility of viral RNA detection in urine as a molecular diagnostic procedure for diagnosis of West Nile virus infections. PMID:27038827

  3. Detection and sequencing of West Nile virus RNA from human urine and serum samples during the 2014 seasonal period.

    PubMed

    Nagy, Anna; Bán, Enikő; Nagy, Orsolya; Ferenczi, Emőke; Farkas, Ágnes; Bányai, Krisztián; Farkas, Szilvia; Takács, Mária

    2016-07-01

    West Nile virus, a widely distributed mosquito-borne flavivirus, is responsible for numerous animal and human infections in Europe, Africa and the Americas. In Hungary, the average number of human infections falls between 10 and 20 cases each year. The severity of clinically manifesting infections varies widely from the milder form of West Nile fever to West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND). In routine laboratory diagnosis of human West Nile virus infections, serological methods are mainly applied due to the limited duration of viremia. However, recent studies suggest that detection of West Nile virus RNA in urine samples may be useful as a molecular diagnostic test for these infections. The Hungarian National Reference Laboratory for Viral Zoonoses serologically confirmed eleven acute human infections during the 2014 seasonal period. In three patients with neurological symptoms, viral RNA was detected from both urine and serum specimens, albeit for a longer period and in higher copy numbers with urine. Phylogenetic analysis of the NS3 genomic region of three strains and the complete genome of one selected strain demonstrated that all three patients had lineage-2 West Nile virus infections. Our findings reaffirm the utility of viral RNA detection in urine as a molecular diagnostic procedure for diagnosis of West Nile virus infections.

  4. Interferon-λ restricts West Nile virus neuroinvasion by tightening the blood-brain barrier.

    PubMed

    Lazear, Helen M; Daniels, Brian P; Pinto, Amelia K; Huang, Albert C; Vick, Sarah C; Doyle, Sean E; Gale, Michael; Klein, Robyn S; Diamond, Michael S

    2015-04-22

    Although interferon-λ [also known as type III interferon or interleukin-28 (IL-28)/IL-29] restricts infection by several viruses, its inhibitory mechanism has remained uncertain. We used recombinant interferon-λ and mice lacking the interferon-λ receptor (IFNLR1) to evaluate the effect of interferon-λ on infection with West Nile virus, an encephalitic flavivirus. Cell culture studies in mouse keratinocytes and dendritic cells showed no direct antiviral effect of exogenous interferon-λ, even though expression of interferon-stimulated genes was induced. We observed no differences in West Nile virus burden between wild-type and Ifnlr1(-/-) mice in the draining lymph nodes, spleen, or blood. We detected increased West Nile virus infection in the brain and spinal cord of Ifnlr1(-/-) mice, yet this was not associated with a direct antiviral effect in mouse neurons. Instead, we observed an increase in blood-brain barrier permeability in Ifnlr1(-/-) mice. Treatment of mice with pegylated interferon-λ2 resulted in decreased blood-brain barrier permeability, reduced West Nile virus infection in the brain without affecting viremia, and improved survival against lethal virus challenge. An in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier showed that interferon-λ signaling in mouse brain microvascular endothelial cells increased transendothelial electrical resistance, decreased virus movement across the barrier, and modulated tight junction protein localization in a protein synthesis- and signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1)-independent manner. Our data establish an indirect antiviral function of interferon-λ in which noncanonical signaling through IFNLR1 tightens the blood-brain barrier and restricts viral neuroinvasion and pathogenesis. PMID:25904743

  5. Interferon-λ restricts West Nile virus neuroinvasion by tightening the blood-brain barrier.

    PubMed

    Lazear, Helen M; Daniels, Brian P; Pinto, Amelia K; Huang, Albert C; Vick, Sarah C; Doyle, Sean E; Gale, Michael; Klein, Robyn S; Diamond, Michael S

    2015-04-22

    Although interferon-λ [also known as type III interferon or interleukin-28 (IL-28)/IL-29] restricts infection by several viruses, its inhibitory mechanism has remained uncertain. We used recombinant interferon-λ and mice lacking the interferon-λ receptor (IFNLR1) to evaluate the effect of interferon-λ on infection with West Nile virus, an encephalitic flavivirus. Cell culture studies in mouse keratinocytes and dendritic cells showed no direct antiviral effect of exogenous interferon-λ, even though expression of interferon-stimulated genes was induced. We observed no differences in West Nile virus burden between wild-type and Ifnlr1(-/-) mice in the draining lymph nodes, spleen, or blood. We detected increased West Nile virus infection in the brain and spinal cord of Ifnlr1(-/-) mice, yet this was not associated with a direct antiviral effect in mouse neurons. Instead, we observed an increase in blood-brain barrier permeability in Ifnlr1(-/-) mice. Treatment of mice with pegylated interferon-λ2 resulted in decreased blood-brain barrier permeability, reduced West Nile virus infection in the brain without affecting viremia, and improved survival against lethal virus challenge. An in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier showed that interferon-λ signaling in mouse brain microvascular endothelial cells increased transendothelial electrical resistance, decreased virus movement across the barrier, and modulated tight junction protein localization in a protein synthesis- and signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1)-independent manner. Our data establish an indirect antiviral function of interferon-λ in which noncanonical signaling through IFNLR1 tightens the blood-brain barrier and restricts viral neuroinvasion and pathogenesis.

  6. Climate Change and West Nile Virus in a Highly Endemic Region of North America

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chen C.; Jenkins, Emily; Epp, Tasha; Waldner, Cheryl; Curry, Philip S.; Soos, Catherine

    2013-01-01

    The Canadian prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta have reported the highest human incidence of clinical cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Canada. The primary vector for WVN in this region is the mosquito Culex tarsalis. This study used constructed models and biological thresholds to predict the spatial and temporal distribution of Cx. tarsalis and WNV infection rate in the prairie provinces under a range of potential future climate and habitat conditions. We selected one median and two extreme outcome scenarios to represent future climate conditions in the 2020 (2010–2039), 2050 (2040–2069) and 2080 (2070–2099) time slices. In currently endemic regions, the projected WNV infection rate under the median outcome scenario in 2050 raised 17.91 times (ranged from 1.29-27.45 times for all scenarios and time slices) comparing to current climate conditions. Seasonal availability of Cx. tarsalis infected with WNV extended from June to August to include May and September. Moreover, our models predicted northward range expansion for Cx. tarsalis (1.06–2.56 times the current geographic area) and WNV (1.08–2.34 times the current geographic area). These findings predict future public and animal health risk of WNV in the Canadian prairie provinces. PMID:23880729

  7. Long-term neurological outcomes in West Nile virus-infected patients: an observational study.

    PubMed

    Weatherhead, Jill E; Miller, Vicki E; Garcia, Melissa N; Hasbun, Rodrigo; Salazar, Lucrecia; Dimachkie, Mazen M; Murray, Kristy O

    2015-05-01

    The Houston West Nile Cohort (HWNC) was founded in 2002 when West Nile virus (WNV) reached Houston, TX. The long-term outcomes following WNV infection are still mostly unknown, though neurological abnormalities up to 1 year postinfection have been documented. We report an observational study of neurological abnormalities at 1-3 and 8-11 years following WNV infection in the HWNC. We conducted standard neurological examinations at two separate time points to assess changes in neurological status over time. The majority of patients (86%, 30/35) with encephalitis had abnormal neurological exam findings at the time of the first assessment compared with uncomplicated fever (27%, 3/11) and meningitis (36%, 5/14) cases. At the time of the second assessment, 57% (4/7) of West Nile fever (WNF), 33% (2/6) of West Nile meningitis (WNM), and 36% (5/14) of West Nile encephalitis (WNE) had developed new neurological complications. The most common abnormalities noted were tandem gait, hearing loss, abnormal reflexes, and muscle weakness. Long-term neurological abnormalities were most commonly found in patients who experienced primary WNV encephalitis. New abnormalities may develop over time regardless of initial clinical infection. Future studies should aim to differentiate neurological consequences due to WNV neuroinvasive infection versus neurological decline related to comorbid conditions.

  8. A Recombinant Influenza A Virus Expressing Domain III of West Nile Virus Induces Protective Immune Responses against Influenza and West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Martina, Byron E. E.; van den Doel, Petra; Koraka, Penelope; van Amerongen, Geert; Spohn, Gunther; Haagmans, Bart L.; Provacia, Lisette B. V.; Osterhaus, Albert D. M. E.; Rimmelzwaan, Guus F.

    2011-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) continues to circulate in the USA and forms a threat to the rest of the Western hemisphere. Since methods for the treatment of WNV infections are not available, there is a need for the development of safe and effective vaccines. Here, we describe the construction of a recombinant influenza virus expressing domain III of the WNV glycoprotein E (Flu-NA-DIII) and its evaluation as a WNV vaccine candidate in a mouse model. FLU-NA-DIII-vaccinated mice were protected from severe body weight loss and mortality caused by WNV infection, whereas control mice succumbed to the infection. In addition, it was shown that one subcutaneous immunization with 105 TCID50 Flu-NA-DIII provided 100% protection against challenge. Adoptive transfer experiments demonstrated that protection was mediated by antibodies and CD4+T cells. Furthermore, mice vaccinated with FLU-NA-DIII developed protective influenza virus-specific antibody titers. It was concluded that this vector system might be an attractive platform for the development of bivalent WNV-influenza vaccines. PMID:21541326

  9. Fatal human eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis caused by CNS co-infection with Halicephalobus gingivalis and West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Anwar, M A; Gokozan, H N; Ball, M K; Otero, J; McGwire, B S

    2015-10-01

    The saprophytic nematode Halicephalobus is a rare cause of fatal human meningo-encephalitis, and West Nile virus is neurotropic flavivirus implicated in a variety of clinical neurologic syndromes. Here we report a case of rapidly progressive CNS encephalopathy and death. Serologic, immuno-histochemical, histopathologic and nucleic acid studies demonstrate the presence of active Halicephalobus and West Nile virus in the CNS tissue. This is the first reported case of co-infection with these neurotropic pathogens. PMID:26050925

  10. Recombinant West Nile virus envelope protein E and domain III expressed in insect larvae protects mice against West Nile disease.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Padilla, Julio; de Oya, Nereida Jiménez; Blázquez, Ana-Belén; Escribano-Romero, Estela; Escribano, José M; Saiz, Juan-Carlos

    2011-02-17

    In this study, West Nile virus (WNV) envelope (rE) protein and its domain III (rDIII) were efficiently expressed in a cost-effective system based on insect larvae as non-fermentative living biofactories. Mice immunized with the partially purified rE or rDIII elicited high antibodies titers that neutralized viral infectivity in cell culture and in suckling mice. All vaccinated animals were fully protected when challenged with neurovirulent WNV NY99. Passive transfer of protective antibodies from immunized mothers to their offspring occurred both by transplacental and lactation routes. These results indicate that the insect-derived antigens tested may constitute potential vaccine candidates to be further evaluated.

  11. Dead bird surveillance as an early warning system for West Nile virus.

    PubMed Central

    Eidson, M.; Kramer, L.; Stone, W.; Hagiwara, Y.; Schmit, K.

    2001-01-01

    As part of West Nile (WN) virus surveillance in New York State in 2000, 71,332 ill or dead birds were reported; 17,571 (24.6%) of these were American Crows. Of 3,976 dead birds tested, 1,263 (31.8%) were positive for WN virus. Viral activity was first confirmed in 60 of the state's 62 counties with WN virus-positive dead birds. Pathologic findings compatible with WN virus were seen in 1,576 birds (39.6% of those tested), of which 832 (52.8%) were positive for WN virus. Dead crow reports preceded confirmation of viral activity by several months, and WN virus-positive birds were found >3 months before the onset of human cases. Dead bird surveillance appears to be valuable for early detection of WN virus and for guiding public education and mosquito control efforts. PMID:11585524

  12. West nile virus disease and other arboviral diseases - United States, 2011.

    PubMed

    2012-07-13

    Arthropodborne viruses (arboviruses) are transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes and ticks. Symptomatic infections most often manifest as a systemic febrile illness and, less commonly, as neuroinvasive disease (e.g., meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis). West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of domestically acquired arboviral disease in the United States. However, several other arboviruses also cause seasonal outbreaks and sporadic cases. In 2011, CDC received reports of 871 cases of nationally notifiable arboviral diseases (excluding dengue); etiological agents included WNV (712 cases), La Crosse virus (LACV) (130), Powassan virus (POWV) (16), St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) (six), Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) (four), and Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV) (three). Of these, 624 (72%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease, for a national incidence of 0.20 per 100,000 population. WNV and other arboviruses continue to cause focal outbreaks and severe illness in substantial numbers of persons in the United States.

  13. Early Warning System for West Nile Virus Risk Areas, California, USA

    PubMed Central

    Ahearn, Sean C.; McConchie, Alan; Glaser, Carol; Jean, Cynthia; Barker, Chris; Park, Bborie; Padgett, Kerry; Parker, Erin; Aquino, Ervic; Kramer, Vicki

    2011-01-01

    The Dynamic Continuous-Area Space-Time (DYCAST) system is a biologically based spatiotemporal model that uses public reports of dead birds to identify areas at high risk for West Nile virus (WNV) transmission to humans. In 2005, during a statewide epidemic of WNV (880 cases), the California Department of Public Health prospectively implemented DYCAST over 32,517 km2 in California. Daily risk maps were made available online and used by local agencies to target public education campaigns, surveillance, and mosquito control. DYCAST had 80.8% sensitivity and 90.6% specificity for predicting human cases, and κ analysis indicated moderate strength of chance-adjusted agreement for >4 weeks. High-risk grid cells (populations) were identified an average of 37.2 days before onset of human illness; relative risk for disease was >39× higher than for low-risk cells. Although prediction rates declined in subsequent years, results indicate DYCAST was a timely and effective early warning system during the severe 2005 epidemic. PMID:21801622

  14. Modeling dynamics of culex pipiens complex populations and assessing abatement strategies for West Nile Virus.

    PubMed

    Pawelek, Kasia A; Niehaus, Patrick; Salmeron, Cristian; Hager, Elizabeth J; Hunt, Gregg J

    2014-01-01

    The primary mosquito species associated with underground stormwater systems in the United States are the Culex pipiens complex species. This group represents important vectors of West Nile virus (WNV) throughout regions of the continental U.S. In this study, we designed a mathematical model and compared it with surveillance data for the Cx. pipiens complex collected in Beaufort County, South Carolina. Based on the best fit of the model to the data, we estimated parameters associated with the effectiveness of public health insecticide (adulticide) treatments (primarily pyrethrin products) as well as the birth, maturation, and death rates of immature and adult Cx. pipiens complex mosquitoes. We used these estimates for modeling the spread of WNV to obtain more reliable disease outbreak predictions and performed numerical simulations to test various mosquito abatement strategies. We demonstrated that insecticide treatments produced significant reductions in the Cx. pipiens complex populations. However, abatement efforts were effective for approximately one day and the vector mosquitoes rebounded until the next treatment. These results suggest that frequent insecticide applications are necessary to control these mosquitoes. We derived the basic reproductive number (ℜ0) to predict the conditions under which disease outbreaks are likely to occur and to evaluate mosquito abatement strategies. We concluded that enhancing the mosquito death rate results in lower values of ℜ0, and if ℜ0<1, then an epidemic will not occur. Our modeling results provide insights about control strategies of the vector populations and, consequently, a potential decrease in the risk of a WNV outbreak.

  15. Occurrence of West Nile virus antibodies in wild birds, horses, and humans in Poland.

    PubMed

    Niczyporuk, Jowita Samanta; Samorek-Salamonowicz, Elżbieta; Lecollinet, Sylvie; Pancewicz, Sławomir Andrzej; Kozdruń, Wojciech; Czekaj, Hanna

    2015-01-01

    Serum samples of 474 wild birds, 378 horses, and 42 humans with meningitis and lymphocytic meningitis were collected between 2010 and 2014 from different areas of Poland. West Nile virus (WNV) antibodies were detected using competition enzyme linked immunosorbent assays: ELISA-1 ID Screen West Nile Competition, IDvet, ELISA-2 ID Screen West Nile IgM Capture, and ELISA-3 Ingezim West Nile Compac. The antibodies were found in 63 (13.29%) out of 474 wild bird serum samples and in one (0.26%) out of 378 horse serum samples. Fourteen (33.33%) out of 42 sera from patients were positive against WNV antigen and one serum was doubtful. Positive samples obtained in birds were next retested with virus microneutralisation test to confirm positive results and cross-reactions with other antigens of the Japanese encephalitis complex. We suspect that positive serological results in humans, birds, and horses indicate that WNV can be somehow closely related with the ecosystem in Poland.

  16. Occurrence of West Nile Virus Antibodies in Wild Birds, Horses, and Humans in Poland

    PubMed Central

    Niczyporuk, Jowita Samanta; Samorek-Salamonowicz, Elżbieta; Lecollinet, Sylvie; Pancewicz, Sławomir Andrzej; Kozdruń, Wojciech; Czekaj, Hanna

    2015-01-01

    Serum samples of 474 wild birds, 378 horses, and 42 humans with meningitis and lymphocytic meningitis were collected between 2010 and 2014 from different areas of Poland. West Nile virus (WNV) antibodies were detected using competition enzyme linked immunosorbent assays: ELISA-1 ID Screen West Nile Competition, IDvet, ELISA-2 ID Screen West Nile IgM Capture, and ELISA-3 Ingezim West Nile Compac. The antibodies were found in 63 (13.29%) out of 474 wild bird serum samples and in one (0.26%) out of 378 horse serum samples. Fourteen (33.33%) out of 42 sera from patients were positive against WNV antigen and one serum was doubtful. Positive samples obtained in birds were next retested with virus microneutralisation test to confirm positive results and cross-reactions with other antigens of the Japanese encephalitis complex. We suspect that positive serological results in humans, birds, and horses indicate that WNV can be somehow closely related with the ecosystem in Poland. PMID:25866767

  17. Infectious Entry of West Nile Virus Occurs through a Clathrin-Mediated Endocytic Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Chu, J. J. H.; Ng, M. L.

    2004-01-01

    The pathway of West Nile flavivirus early internalization events was mapped in detail in this study. Overexpression of dominant-negative mutants of Eps15 strongly inhibits West Nile virus (WNV) internalization, and pharmacological drugs that blocks clathrin also caused a marked reduction in virus entry but not caveola-dependent endocytosis inhibitory agent, filipin. Using immunocryoelectron microscopy, WNV particles were seen within clathrin-coated pits after 2 min postinfection. Double-labeling immunofluorescence assays and immunoelectron microscopy performed with anti-WNV envelope or capsid proteins and cellular markers (EEA1 and LAMP1) revealed the trafficking pathway of internalized virus particles from early endosomes to lysosomes and finally the uncoating of the virus particles. Disruption of host cell cytoskeleton (actin filaments and microtubules) with cytochalasin D and nocodazole showed significant reduction in virus infectivity. Actin filaments are shown to be essential during the initial penetration of the virus across the plasma membrane, whereas microtubules are involved in the trafficking of internalized virus from early endosomes to lysosomes for uncoating. Cells treated with lysosomotropic agents were largely resistant to infection, indicating that a low-pH-dependent step is required for WNV infection. In situ hybridization of DNA probes specific for viral RNA demonstrated the trafficking of uncoated viral RNA genomes to the endoplasmic reticulum. PMID:15367621

  18. Evaluating red-cockaded woodpeckers for exposure to West Nile Virus and blood parasites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dusek, R.J.; Richardson, D.; Egstad, K.F.; Heisey, Dennis M.

    2006-01-01

    A marked decline in the Picoides borealis (Red-cockaded Woodpecker [RCW]) population at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, MS, was observed in 2002. Demographic changes - including absence of hatch-year birds, decreases in size of known groups, and loss of known groups-were identified during annual fall surveys and are uncharacteristic of RCW populations. In 2003, a serosurvey of 28 adult RCWs was conducted to investigate the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) exposure in the population, possibly providing insight into whether WNV may have been responsible for this decline. Blood smears were also examined from these birds for blood parasites. We found no evidence of West Nile virus exposure or blood parasites in any of the RCWs sampled. Further monitoring of the RCW population and WNV activity in other species at Noxubee NWR is recommended to further evaluate the potential role of WNV and blood parasites in their decline.

  19. Putative novel lineage of West Nile virus in Uranotaenia unguiculata mosquito, Hungary.

    PubMed

    Kemenesi, Gábor; Dallos, Bianka; Oldal, Miklós; Kutas, Anna; Földes, Fanni; Németh, Viktória; Reiter, Paul; Bakonyi, Tamás; Bányai, Krisztián; Jakab, Ferenc

    2014-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is an increasing public health concern in Europe with numerous human cases. A total of 23,029 female mosquitoes were tested for a variety of mosquito-borne flaviviruses and orthobunyaviruses supposedly endemic in Southern Transdanubia, Hungary, in the frames of a large-scale surveillance between 2011 and 2013. WNV nucleic acid was detected in a single pool containing Uranotaenia unguiculata mosquitoes. Sequence- and phylogenetic analyses for two different regions (NS5 and E) of the viral genome showed that the novel Hungarian WNV strain was different from other previously described WNV lineages. These findings may indicate the presence of a putative, novel lineage of WNV in Europe. Our results also indicate that U. unguiculata mosquito may become relevant species as a potential vector for West Nile virus in Europe.

  20. Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) bloodmeal sources during a period of West Nile virus transmission in Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Barrera, Roberto; Amador, Manuel; Young, Ginger; Komar, Nicholas

    2011-05-01

    Host bloodmeals of indigenous Caribbean mosquitoes have not been studied previously. We identified vertebrate DNA in 90 blood-engorged mosquitoes belonging to four genera (Aedes, Culex, Deinocerites, and Uranotaenia) and 12 species that were collected in Puerto Rico within a geographic and temporal focus of West Nile virus transmission in 2007. It was found that 62 (68.8%) bloodmeals were from reptiles, 18 (20.0%) from birds, and 10 (11.1%) from mammals. Only one bloodmeal of 18 derived from Culex (Culex) species was passerine, suggesting a preference for nonpasserine birds and other vertebrates (i.e., reptiles) among the candidate WNV vectors. We interpret the results with respect to vectorial capacity for West Nile virus, an emerging arbovirus throughout the Caribbean Basin.

  1. Bagaza virus inhibits Japanese encephalitis & West Nile virus replication in Culex tritaeniorhynchus & Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Sudeep, A.B.; Bondre, V.P.; George, R.; Ghodke, Y.S.; Aher, R.V.; Gokhale, M.D.

    2015-01-01

    Background & objectives: Studies have shown that certain flaviviruses influence susceptibility of mosquitoes by inhibiting/enhancing replication of important flaviviruses. Hence, a study was designed to determine whether Bagaza virus (BAGV), a flavivirus isolated from Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquitoes in India, alters susceptibility of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus and Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes to Japanese encephalitis (JEV) and West Nile viruses (WNV). Methods: JEV and WNV infection in Cx. tritaeniorhynchus and Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes in the presence of BAGV was carried out by intrathoracic (IT) inoculation and oral feeding methods. Mosquitoes were infected with BAGV and WNV/JEV either simultaneously or in a phased manner, in which mosquitoes were infected with BAGV by IT inoculation followed by super-infection with JEV/WNV after eight days post-infection (PI). JEV and WNV yield on 7th and 14th day PI after super-infection was determined by 50 per cent tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) method. Results: In Cx. tritaeniorhynchus mosquitoes, prior infection with BAGV significantly reduced JEV and WNV replication while in Cx. quinquefasciatus, BAGV influence was only seen with WNV. Reduction in virus titre was observed in IT inoculated and oral fed mosquitoes irrespective of the infection mode. JEV replication was also found reduced in Cx. tritaeniorhynchus mosquitoes persistently infected with BAGV at passage four. Interpretation & conclusions: BAGV infection in Cx. tritaeniorhynchus and Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes altered their susceptibility to JEV and WNV producing low virus yield. However, the role of BAGV in inhibiting JEV/WNV replication in field mosquitoes needs further investigations. PMID:26905241

  2. West Nile virus and the 2012 outbreak: The Baylor University Medical Center experience.

    PubMed

    Mora, Adan; Arroyo, Mariangeli; Gummelt, Kyle L; Colbert, Gates; Ursales, Anna L; Van Vrancken, Michael J; Snipes, George J; Guileyardo, Joseph M; Columbus, Cristie

    2015-07-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has been responsible for multiple outbreaks and has shown evolution in its clinical manifestation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided diagnostic criteria in classifying the variety of WNV infection; however, application of these criteria can prove challenging during outbreaks, and understanding the array of presentations and patient population is clinically important. In this article, we present the challenges encountered during the 2012 outbreak at one institution.

  3. Statistical Tools for the Interpretation of Enzootic West Nile virus Transmission Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Caillouët, Kevin A; Robertson, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Interpretation of enzootic West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance indicators requires little advanced mathematical skill, but greatly enhances the ability of public health officials to prescribe effective WNV management tactics. Stepwise procedures for the calculation of mosquito infection rates (IR) and vector index (VI) are presented alongside statistical tools that require additional computation. A brief review of advantages and important considerations for each statistic's use is provided. PMID:27188561

  4. West Nile virus outbreak in the Lombardy region, northern Italy, summer 2013.

    PubMed

    Rovida, Francesca; Sarasini, Antonella; Campanini, Giulia; Percivalle, Elena; Gorini, Giovanna; Mariani, Bianca; Pan, Angelo; Cuzzoli, Antonio; Possenti, Stefano; Manzini, Lisa; Castelli, Francesco; Bossini, Nicola; Grossi, Paolo Antonio; Castilletti, Concetta; Calzolari, Mattia; Lelli, Davide; Piatti, Alessandra; Baldanti, Fausto

    2015-04-01

    In the summer of 2013, an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) infection occurred in the Lombardy, a region of northern Italy to the west of districts affected by WNV in previous years. Eighteen cases of human WNV infection were diagnosed--10 cases of acute WNV neuroinvasive disease and eight of WNV fever. In the same period, WNV was detected in birds (one crow) in horses (11 cases) and from mosquitoes (six pools).

  5. Clinical pathology results from cranes with experimental West Nile Virus infection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsen, Glenn H.

    2011-01-01

    Sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) were vaccinated for and then challenged with West Nile virus. Resulting titers demonstrated protection in the vaccinated-challenged cranes as compared to the unvaccinated-challenged cranes. Clinical pathology results showed challenged cranes, whether vaccinated or not, had a decrease in their hematocrits and an elevation of 2.5-fold in their white blood cell counts as compared to unchallenged control sandhill cranes. No differences were apparent in the differential counts of heterophils and lymphocytes.

  6. Field Methods and Sample Collection Techniques for the Surveillance of West Nile Virus in Avian Hosts.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Sarah S; Boyce, Walter M; Reisen, William K

    2016-01-01

    Avian hosts play an important role in the spread, maintenance, and amplification of West Nile virus (WNV). Avian susceptibility to WNV varies from species to species thus surveillance efforts can focus both on birds that survive infection and those that succumb. Here we describe methods for the collection and sampling of live birds for WNV antibodies or viremia, and methods for the sampling of dead birds. Target species and study design considerations are discussed. PMID:27188560

  7. Detecting West Nile Virus in Owls and Raptors by an Antigen-capture Assay

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Douglas G.; Barker, Ian K.; Lindsay, Robbin; Hunter, Bruce

    2004-01-01

    We evaluated a rapid antigen-capture assay (VecTest) for detection of West Nile virus in oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs, collected at necropsy from owls (N = 93) and raptors (N = 27). Sensitivity was 93.5%–95.2% for northern owl species but <42.9% for all other species. Specificity was 100% for owls and 85.7% for raptors. PMID:15663862

  8. West Nile virus infection in a teenage boy with acute lymphocytic leukemia in remission.

    PubMed

    Hindo, Heather; Buescher, E Stephen; Frank, L Matthew; Pettit, Dee; Dory, Christopher; Byrd, Rebecca

    2005-12-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) infection is an important cause of encephalitis. Although the medical literature contains examples of WNV encephalitis in susceptible, mainly elderly, immunocompromised hosts, few case reports have described pediatric cases. The authors describe an adolescent with acute lymphocytic leukemia and WNV encephalitis. Surveillance studies indicate an increase in WNV activity. Physicians need to be aware of WNV activity in their community and consider WNV as a potential source of infection.

  9. Protective and therapeutic capacity of human single-chain Fv-Fc fusion proteins against West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Gould, L Hannah; Sui, Jianhua; Foellmer, Harald; Oliphant, Theodore; Wang, Tian; Ledizet, Michel; Murakami, Akikazu; Noonan, Kristin; Lambeth, Cassandra; Kar, Kalipada; Anderson, John F; de Silva, Aravinda M; Diamond, Michael S; Koski, Raymond A; Marasco, Wayne A; Fikrig, Erol

    2005-12-01

    West Nile virus has spread rapidly across the United States, and there is currently no approved human vaccine or therapy to prevent or treat disease. Passive immunization with antibodies against the envelope protein represents a promising means to provide short-term prophylaxis and treatment for West Nile virus infection. In this study, we identified a panel of 11 unique human single-chain variable region antibody fragments (scFvs) that bind the envelope protein of West Nile virus. Selected scFvs were converted to Fc fusion proteins (scFv-Fcs) and were tested in mice for their ability to prevent lethal West Nile virus infection. Five of these scFv-Fcs, 11, 15, 71, 85, and 95, protected 100% of mice from death when given prior to infection with virus. Two of them, 11 and 15, protected 80% of mice when given at days 1 and 4 after infection. In addition, four of the scFv-Fcs cross-neutralized dengue virus, serotype 2. Binding assays using yeast surface display demonstrated that all of our scFvs bind to sites within domains I and II of West Nile virus envelope protein. These recombinant human scFvs are potential candidates for immunoprophylaxis and therapy of flavivirus infections.

  10. Host feeding patterns of established and potential mosquito vectors of West Nile virus in the eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Apperson, Charles S; Hassan, Hassan K; Harrison, Bruce A; Savage, Harry M; Aspen, Stephen E; Farajollahi, Ary; Crans, Wayne; Daniels, Thomas J; Falco, Richard C; Benedict, Mark; Anderson, Michael; McMillen, Larry; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2004-01-01

    An important variable in determining the vectorial capacity of mosquito species for arthropod-borne infections is the degree of contact of the vector and the vertebrate reservoir. This parameter can be estimated by examining the host-feeding habits of vectors. Serological and polymerase chain reaction based methods have been used to study the host-feedings patterns of 21 mosquito species from New York, New Jersey, and Tennessee, 19 of which previously have been found infected with West Nile virus. Mammalophilic mosquito species in New Jersey and New York fed primarily upon white-tailed deer, while those from Memphis, Tennessee, fed mainly upon domestic dogs. A total of 24 different avian host species were detected among the avian-derived blood meals. American Robin, Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Tufted Titmouse, and Brown-headed Cowbird were common avian hosts, while blood meals derived from the American Crow were relatively rare. Although the majority of common host species were potentially among the most abundant birds at each location, the proportion of blood meals from the most commonly fed upon avian species was greater than was predicted based upon the likely abundance of these species alone. These findings suggest that vector species for West Nile virus may preferentially feed upon certain avian hosts.

  11. Temperature, viral genetics, and the transmission of West Nile virus by Culex pipiens mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Kilpatrick, A Marm; Meola, Mark A; Moudy, Robin M; Kramer, Laura D

    2008-06-01

    The distribution and intensity of transmission of vector-borne pathogens can be strongly influenced by the competence of vectors. Vector competence, in turn, can be influenced by temperature and viral genetics. West Nile virus (WNV) was introduced into the United States of America in 1999 and subsequently spread throughout much of the Americas. Previously, we have shown that a novel genotype of WNV, WN02, first detected in 2001, spread across the US and was more efficient than the introduced genotype, NY99, at infecting, disseminating, and being transmitted by Culex mosquitoes. In the current study, we determined the relationship between temperature and time since feeding on the probability of transmitting each genotype of WNV. We found that the advantage of the WN02 genotype increases with the product of time and temperature. Thus, warmer temperatures would have facilitated the invasion of the WN02 genotype. In addition, we found that transmission of WNV accelerated sharply with increasing temperature, T, (best fit by a function of T(4)) showing that traditional degree-day models underestimate the impact of temperature on WNV transmission. This laboratory study suggests that both viral evolution and temperature help shape the distribution and intensity of transmission of WNV, and provides a model for predicting the impact of temperature and global warming on WNV transmission.

  12. Analysis of Culex and Aedes mosquitoes in southwestern Nigeria revealed no West Nile virus activity

    PubMed Central

    Sule, Waidi Folorunso; Oluwayelu, Daniel Oladimeji

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Amplification and transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) by mosquitoes are driven by presence and number of viraemic/susceptible avian hosts. Methods In order to predict risk of WNV infection to humans, we collected mosquitoes from horse stables in Lagos and Ibadan, southwestern Nigeria. The mosquitoes were sorted and tested in pools with real-time RT-PCR to detect WNV (or flavivirus) RNA using WNV-specific primers and probes, as well as, pan-flavivirus-specific primers in two-step real-time RT-PCR. Minimum infection rate (MIR) was used to estimate mosquito infection rate. Results Only two genera of mosquitoes were caught (Culex, 98.9% and Aedes, 1.0%) totalling 4,112 females. None of the 424 mosquito pools tested was positive for WNV RNA; consequently the MIR was zero. Sequencing and BLAST analysis of amplicons detected in pan-flavivirus primer-mediated RT-PCR gave a consensus sequence of 28S rRNA of Culex quinquefasciatus suggesting integration of flaviviral RNA into mosquito genome. Conclusion While the latter finding requires further investigation, we conclude there was little or no risk of human infection with WNV in the study areas during sampling. There was predominance of Culex mosquito, a competent WNV vector, around horse stables in the study areas. However, mosquito surveillance needs to continue for prompt detection of WNV activity in mosquitoes. PMID:27279943

  13. Temperature, Viral Genetics, and the Transmission of West Nile Virus by Culex pipiens Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Kilpatrick, A. Marm; Meola, Mark A.; Moudy, Robin M.; Kramer, Laura D.

    2008-01-01

    The distribution and intensity of transmission of vector-borne pathogens can be strongly influenced by the competence of vectors. Vector competence, in turn, can be influenced by temperature and viral genetics. West Nile virus (WNV) was introduced into the United States of America in 1999 and subsequently spread throughout much of the Americas. Previously, we have shown that a novel genotype of WNV, WN02, first detected in 2001, spread across the US and was more efficient than the introduced genotype, NY99, at infecting, disseminating, and being transmitted by Culex mosquitoes. In the current study, we determined the relationship between temperature and time since feeding on the probability of transmitting each genotype of WNV. We found that the advantage of the WN02 genotype increases with the product of time and temperature. Thus, warmer temperatures would have facilitated the invasion of the WN02 genotype. In addition, we found that transmission of WNV accelerated sharply with increasing temperature, T, (best fit by a function of T4) showing that traditional degree-day models underestimate the impact of temperature on WNV transmission. This laboratory study suggests that both viral evolution and temperature help shape the distribution and intensity of transmission of WNV, and provides a model for predicting the impact of temperature and global warming on WNV transmission. PMID:18584026

  14. West Nile virus emergence and large-scale declines of North American bird populations.

    PubMed

    LaDeau, Shannon L; Kilpatrick, A Marm; Marra, Peter P

    2007-06-01

    Emerging infectious diseases present a formidable challenge to the conservation of native species in the twenty-first century. Diseases caused by introduced pathogens have had large impacts on species abundances, including the American chestnut, Hawaiian bird species and many amphibians. Changes in host population sizes can lead to marked shifts in community composition and ecosystem functioning. However, identifying the impacts of an introduced disease and distinguishing it from other forces that influence population dynamics (for example, climate) is challenging and requires abundance data that extend before and after the introduction. Here we use 26 yr of Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data to determine the impact of West Nile virus (WNV) on 20 potential avian hosts across North America. We demonstrate significant changes in population trajectories for seven species from four families that concur with a priori predictions and the spatio-temporal intensity of pathogen transmission. The American crow population declined by up to 45% since WNV arrival, and only two of the seven species with documented impact recovered to pre-WNV levels by 2005. Our findings demonstrate the potential impacts of an invasive species on a diverse faunal assemblage across broad geographical scales, and underscore the complexity of subsequent community response.

  15. Reduced West Nile Virus Transmission Around Communal Roosts of Great-Tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)

    PubMed Central

    Komar, Nicholas; Colborn, James M.; Horiuchi, Kalanthe; Delorey, Mark; Biggerstaff, Brad; Damian, Dan; Smith, Kirk; Townsend, John

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus has caused several outbreaks among humans in the Phoenix metropolitan area (Arizona, southwest USA) within the last decade. Recent ecologic studies have implicated Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex tarsalis as the mosquito vectors and identified three abundant passerine birds—great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), house sparrow (Passer domesticus), and house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)—as key amplifiers among vertebrates. Nocturnal congregations of certain species have been suggested as critical for late summer West Nile virus amplification. We evaluated the hypothesis that house sparrow (P. domesticus) and/or great-tailed grackle (Q. mexicanus) communal roost sites (n = 22 and n = 5, respectively) in a primarily suburban environment were spatially associated with West Nile virus transmission indices during the 2010 outbreak of human neurological disease in metropolitan Phoenix. Spatial associations between human case residences and communal roosts were non-significant for house sparrows, and were negative for great-tailed grackle. Several theories that explain these observations are discussed, including the possibility that grackle communal roosts are protective. PMID:25480320

  16. Production of immunogenic West Nile virus-like particles using a herpes simplex virus 1 recombinant vector.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Travis J; Diaz, Fernando; Colgrove, Robert C; Bernard, Kristen A; DeLuca, Neal A; Whelan, Sean P J; Knipe, David M

    2016-09-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus that swept rapidly across North America in 1999, declined in prevalence, and then resurged in 2012. To date, no vaccine is available to prevent infection in the human population. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) replication-defective vaccine vectors induce a durable immunity characterized by strong antibody and CD8(+) T cell responses even in HSV-immune animals. In this study, a WNV protein expression cassette was optimized for virus-like particle (VLP) production in transfection studies, and the cassette was recombined into an HSV-1 d106-WNV virus vector, which produced extracellular VLPs, as confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. Immunization of mice with the d106-WNV recombinant vector elicited a specific anti-WNV IgG response. This study highlights the flavivirus coding sequences needed for efficient assembly of virus-like particles. This information will facilitate generation of additional vaccine vectors against other flaviviruses including the recently emerged Zika virus.

  17. Explosive spread of a neuroinvasive lineage 2 West Nile virus in Central Europe, 2008/2009.

    PubMed

    Bakonyi, Tamás; Ferenczi, Emőke; Erdélyi, Károly; Kutasi, Orsolya; Csörgő, Tibor; Seidel, Bernhard; Weissenböck, Herbert; Brugger, Katharina; Bán, Enikő; Nowotny, Norbert

    2013-07-26

    For the first time outside sub-Saharan Africa, a lineage 2 West Nile virus (WNV) emerged in Hungary in 2004. It caused sporadic cases of encephalitis in goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), other predatory birds, and in mammals. As a consequence, a surveillance program was initiated in Hungary and in Austria, which included virological, molecular, serological and epidemiological investigations in human beings, birds, horses, and mosquitoes. The virus strain became endemic to Hungary, however only sporadic cases of infections were observed between 2004 and 2007. Unexpectedly, explosive spread of the virus was noted in 2008, when neuroinvasive West Nile disease (WND) was diagnosed all over Hungary in dead goshawks and other birds of prey (n=25), in horses (n=12), and humans (n=22). At the same time this virus also spread to the eastern part of Austria, where it was detected in dead wild birds (n=8). In 2009, recurrent WND outbreaks were observed in Hungary and Austria, in wild birds, horses, and humans in the same areas. Virus isolates of both years exhibited closest genetic relationship to the lineage 2 WNV strain which emerged in 2004. As we know today, the explosive spread of the lineage 2 WNV in 2008 described here remained not restricted to Hungary and Austria, but this virus dispersed further to the south to various Balkan states and reached northern Greece, where it caused the devastating neuroinvasive WND outbreak in humans in 2010.

  18. Explosive spread of a neuroinvasive lineage 2 West Nile virus in Central Europe, 2008/2009.

    PubMed

    Bakonyi, Tamás; Ferenczi, Emőke; Erdélyi, Károly; Kutasi, Orsolya; Csörgő, Tibor; Seidel, Bernhard; Weissenböck, Herbert; Brugger, Katharina; Bán, Enikő; Nowotny, Norbert

    2013-07-26

    For the first time outside sub-Saharan Africa, a lineage 2 West Nile virus (WNV) emerged in Hungary in 2004. It caused sporadic cases of encephalitis in goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), other predatory birds, and in mammals. As a consequence, a surveillance program was initiated in Hungary and in Austria, which included virological, molecular, serological and epidemiological investigations in human beings, birds, horses, and mosquitoes. The virus strain became endemic to Hungary, however only sporadic cases of infections were observed between 2004 and 2007. Unexpectedly, explosive spread of the virus was noted in 2008, when neuroinvasive West Nile disease (WND) was diagnosed all over Hungary in dead goshawks and other birds of prey (n=25), in horses (n=12), and humans (n=22). At the same time this virus also spread to the eastern part of Austria, where it was detected in dead wild birds (n=8). In 2009, recurrent WND outbreaks were observed in Hungary and Austria, in wild birds, horses, and humans in the same areas. Virus isolates of both years exhibited closest genetic relationship to the lineage 2 WNV strain which emerged in 2004. As we know today, the explosive spread of the lineage 2 WNV in 2008 described here remained not restricted to Hungary and Austria, but this virus dispersed further to the south to various Balkan states and reached northern Greece, where it caused the devastating neuroinvasive WND outbreak in humans in 2010. PMID:23570864

  19. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of West Nile virus

    SciTech Connect

    Kaufmann, Barbel; Plevka, Pavel; Kuhn, Richard J.; Rossmann, Michael G.

    2010-05-25

    West Nile virus, a human pathogen, is closely related to other medically important flaviviruses of global impact such as dengue virus. The infectious virus was purified from cell culture using polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation and density-gradient centrifugation. Thin amorphously shaped crystals of the lipid-enveloped virus were grown in quartz capillaries equilibrated by vapor diffusion. Crystal diffraction extended at best to a resolution of about 25 {angstrom} using synchrotron radiation. A preliminary analysis of the diffraction images indicated that the crystals had unit-cell parameters a {approx_equal} b {approx_equal} 480 {angstrom}, {gamma} = 120{sup o}, suggesting a tight hexagonal packing of one virus particle per unit cell.

  20. West Nile Virus Encephalitis: The First Human Case Recorded in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Marcelo A. C. S.; Romano, Alessandro P. M.; Borba, Amaríles S.; Silva, Eliana V. P.; Chiang, Jannifer O.; Eulálio, Kelsen D.; Azevedo, Raimunda S. S.; Rodrigues, Sueli G.; Almeida-Neto, Walfrido S.; Vasconcelos, Pedro F. C.

    2015-01-01

    A Brazilian ranch worker with encephalitis and flaccid paralysis was evaluated in the regional Acute Encephalitis Syndromic Surveillance Program. This was the first Brazilian patient who met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmation criteria for West Nile virus disease. Owing to the overlapping of neurological manifestations attributable to several viral infections of the central nervous system, this report exemplifies the importance of human acute encephalitis surveillance. The syndromic approach to human encephalitis cases may enable early detection of the introduction of unusual virus or endemic occurrence of potentially alarming diseases within a region. PMID:26055749

  1. Vector competence of selected North American Culex and Coquillettidia mosquitoes for West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Sardelis, M R; Turell, M J; Dohm, D J; O'Guinn, M L

    2001-01-01

    To control West Nile virus (WNV), it is necessary to know which mosquitoes are able to transmit this virus. Therefore, we evaluated the WNV vector potential of several North American mosquito species. Culex restuans and Cx. salinarius, two species from which WNV was isolated in New York in 2000, were efficient laboratory vectors. Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. nigripalpus from Florida were competent but only moderately efficient vectors. Coquillettidia perturbans was an inefficient laboratory vector. As WNV extends its range, exposure of additional mosquito species may alter its epidemiology.

  2. Vector competence of selected North American Culex and Coquillettidia mosquitoes for West Nile virus.

    PubMed Central

    Sardelis, M. R.; Turell, M. J.; Dohm, D. J.; O'Guinn, M. L.

    2001-01-01

    To control West Nile virus (WNV), it is necessary to know which mosquitoes are able to transmit this virus. Therefore, we evaluated the WNV vector potential of several North American mosquito species. Culex restuans and Cx. salinarius, two species from which WNV was isolated in New York in 2000, were efficient laboratory vectors. Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. nigripalpus from Florida were competent but only moderately efficient vectors. Coquillettidia perturbans was an inefficient laboratory vector. As WNV extends its range, exposure of additional mosquito species may alter its epidemiology. PMID:11747732

  3. Occurrence of west nile virus infection in raptors at the Salton Sea, California.

    PubMed

    Dusek, Robert J; Iko, William M; Hofmeister, Erik K

    2010-07-01

    We investigated the prevalence of West Nile virus (WNV)-neutralizing antibodies and infectious virus, and the occurrence of overwinter transmission in two raptor species during January and March 2006 at the Salton Sea, Imperial County, California. We captured 208 American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) (January, n=100; March, n=108) and 116 Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) (January, n=52; March, n=64). Laboratory analysis revealed that 83% of American Kestrels and 31% of Burrowing Owls were positive for WNV-neutralizing antibodies. Additionally, two seroconversions were detected in Burrowing Owls between January and March. Infectious WNV, consistent with acute infection, was not detected in any bird. PMID:20688694

  4. Occurrence of west nile virus infection in raptors at the Salton Sea, California.

    PubMed

    Dusek, Robert J; Iko, William M; Hofmeister, Erik K

    2010-07-01

    We investigated the prevalence of West Nile virus (WNV)-neutralizing antibodies and infectious virus, and the occurrence of overwinter transmission in two raptor species during January and March 2006 at the Salton Sea, Imperial County, California. We captured 208 American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) (January, n=100; March, n=108) and 116 Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) (January, n=52; March, n=64). Laboratory analysis revealed that 83% of American Kestrels and 31% of Burrowing Owls were positive for WNV-neutralizing antibodies. Additionally, two seroconversions were detected in Burrowing Owls between January and March. Infectious WNV, consistent with acute infection, was not detected in any bird.

  5. Spatio-temporal patterns of distribution of West Nile virus vectors in eastern Piedmont Region, Italy

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background West Nile Virus (WNV) transmission in Italy was first reported in 1998 as an equine outbreak near the swamps of Padule di Fucecchio, Tuscany. No other cases were identified during the following decade until 2008, when horse and human outbreaks were reported in Emilia Romagna, North Italy. Since then, WNV outbreaks have occurred annually, spreading from their initial northern foci throughout the country. Following the outbreak in 1998 the Italian public health authority defined a surveillance plan to detect WNV circulation in birds, horses and mosquitoes. By applying spatial statistical analysis (spatial point pattern analysis) and models (Bayesian GLMM models) to a longitudinal dataset on the abundance of the three putative WNV vectors [Ochlerotatus caspius (Pallas 1771), Culex pipiens (Linnaeus 1758) and Culex modestus (Ficalbi 1890)] in eastern Piedmont, we quantified their abundance and distribution in space and time and generated prediction maps outlining the areas with the highest vector productivity and potential for WNV introduction and amplification. Results The highest abundance and significant spatial clusters of Oc. caspius and Cx. modestus were in proximity to rice fields, and for Cx. pipiens, in proximity to highly populated urban areas. The GLMM model showed the importance of weather conditions and environmental factors in predicting mosquito abundance. Distance from the preferential breeding sites and elevation were negatively associated with the number of collected mosquitoes. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was positively correlated with mosquito abundance in rice fields (Oc. caspius and Cx. modestus). Based on the best models, we developed prediction maps for the year 2010 outlining the areas where high abundance of vectors could favour the introduction and amplification of WNV. Conclusions Our findings provide useful information for surveillance activities aiming to identify locations where the potential for WNV

  6. West Nile virus isolated from Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in Northwest Missouri 2012

    SciTech Connect

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Harmon, Jessica; Lash, R. Ryan; Weiss, Sonja; Langevin, Stanley; Savage, Harry; Marvin S. Godsey, Jr.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Root, J. Jeffrey; Gidlewski, Thomas; Nicholson, William; Brault, Aaron C.; Komar, Nicholas

    2014-12-01

    We describe the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, flavivirus) from blood of a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) collected in northwestern Missouri, USA in August 2012. Furthermore, sequencing determined that the virus was related to lineage 1a WNV02 strains. We discuss the role of wildlife in WNV disease epidemiology.

  7. Detection of West Nile virus and tick-borne encephalitis virus in birds in Slovakia, using a universal primer set.

    PubMed

    Csank, Tomáš; Bhide, Katarína; Bencúrová, Elena; Dolinská, Saskia; Drzewnioková, Petra; Major, Peter; Korytár, Ľuboš; Bocková, Eva; Bhide, Mangesh; Pistl, Juraj

    2016-06-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne neurotropic pathogen that presents a major public health concern. Information on WNV prevalence and circulation in Slovakia is insufficient. Oral and cloacal swabs and bird brain samples were tested for flavivirus RNA by RT-PCR using newly designed generic primers. The species designation was confirmed by sequencing. WNV was detected in swab and brain samples, whereas one brain sample was positive for tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). The WNV sequences clustered with lineages 1 and 2. These results confirm the circulation of WNV in birds in Slovakia and emphasize the risk of infection of humans and horses. PMID:27001305

  8. Emergence and co-infections of West Nile virus and Toscana virus in Eastern Thrace, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Erdem, H; Ergunay, K; Yilmaz, A; Naz, H; Akata, F; Inan, A S; Ulcay, A; Gunay, F; Ozkul, A; Alten, B; Turhan, V; Oncul, O; Gorenek, L

    2014-04-01

    The objective of this study was to identify the impact of West Nile virus (WNV) and Toscana virus (TOSV) in febrile diseases of unknown aetiology in Eastern Thrace, Turkey; this study was conducted during August-October 2012, and included 18 clinical cases and 296 blood donors for local serosurveillance. Antibodies were determined via commercial assays and further tested for specificity via neutralization assays (NA). Viral RNAs were sought via specific and/or generic primers. WNV infections were diagnosed in seven patients (38.8%), detected via RNA+IgM in four, RNA in one and IgM and low avidity IgG in two cases. The most common symptom was fever (>38°C), followed by headache, malaise/fatigue, myalgia/arthralgia, muscle stiffness/lower back pain, anorexia, nausea/vomiting, diarrhoea, supraorbital/retrobulbar pain and abdominal pain. Neurological symptoms were noted in one individual. WNV strains in RNA-detectable patients were characterized as lineage 1. TOSV RNA or IgM were identified in two individuals with confirmed WNV infections and in one patient without evidence of WNV exposure. The clinical and laboratory findings in individuals with WNV/TOSV co-infection were comparable to those in WNV-induced disease. The TOSV strain in the patient with detectable viral RNA was characterized as genotype A. In local blood donors, seroreactivity for specific WNV and TOSV immunoglobulins was observed in 1.7% (5/296) and 14.4% (26/180), respectively. These findings indicate the emergence of WNV and TOSV-associated diseases in Eastern Thrace. WNV/TOSV co-infections were documented for the first time.

  9. Modeling Dynamics of Culex pipiens Complex Populations and Assessing Abatement Strategies for West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Pawelek, Kasia A.; Hager, Elizabeth J.; Hunt, Gregg J.

    2014-01-01

    The primary mosquito species associated with underground stormwater systems in the United States are the Culex pipiens complex species. This group represents important vectors of West Nile virus (WNV) throughout regions of the continental U.S. In this study, we designed a mathematical model and compared it with surveillance data for the Cx. pipiens complex collected in Beaufort County, South Carolina. Based on the best fit of the model to the data, we estimated parameters associated with the effectiveness of public health insecticide (adulticide) treatments (primarily pyrethrin products) as well as the birth, maturation, and death rates of immature and adult Cx. pipiens complex mosquitoes. We used these estimates for modeling the spread of WNV to obtain more reliable disease outbreak predictions and performed numerical simulations to test various mosquito abatement strategies. We demonstrated that insecticide treatments produced significant reductions in the Cx. pipiens complex populations. However, abatement efforts were effective for approximately one day and the vector mosquitoes rebounded until the next treatment. These results suggest that frequent insecticide applications are necessary to control these mosquitoes. We derived the basic reproductive number (ℜ0) to predict the conditions under which disease outbreaks are likely to occur and to evaluate mosquito abatement strategies. We concluded that enhancing the mosquito death rate results in lower values of ℜ0, and if ℜ0<1, then an epidemic will not occur. Our modeling results provide insights about control strategies of the vector populations and, consequently, a potential decrease in the risk of a WNV outbreak. PMID:25268229

  10. Recovery of West Nile Virus Envelope Protein Domain III Chimeras with Altered Antigenicity and Mouse Virulence

    PubMed Central

    McAuley, Alexander J.; Torres, Maricela; Plante, Jessica A.; Huang, Claire Y.-H.; Bente, Dennis A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Flaviviruses are positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses responsible for millions of human infections annually. The envelope (E) protein of flaviviruses comprises three structural domains, of which domain III (EIII) represents a discrete subunit. The EIII gene sequence typically encodes epitopes recognized by virus-specific, potently neutralizing antibodies, and EIII is believed to play a major role in receptor binding. In order to assess potential interactions between EIII and the remainder of the E protein and to assess the effects of EIII sequence substitutions on the antigenicity, growth, and virulence of a representative flavivirus, chimeric viruses were generated using the West Nile virus (WNV) infectious clone, into which EIIIs from nine flaviviruses with various levels of genetic diversity from WNV were substituted. Of the constructs tested, chimeras containing EIIIs from Koutango virus (KOUV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), and Bagaza virus (BAGV) were successfully recovered. Characterization of the chimeras in vitro and in vivo revealed differences in growth and virulence between the viruses, with in vivo pathogenesis often not being correlated with in vitro growth. Taken together, the data demonstrate that substitutions of EIII can allow the generation of viable chimeric viruses with significantly altered antigenicity and virulence. IMPORTANCE The envelope (E) glycoprotein is the major protein present on the surface of flavivirus virions and is responsible for mediating virus binding and entry into target cells. Several viable West Nile virus (WNV) variants with chimeric E proteins in which the putative receptor-binding domain (EIII) sequences of other mosquito-borne flaviviruses were substituted in place of the WNV EIII were recovered, although the substitution of several more divergent EIII sequences was not tolerated. The differences in virulence and tissue tropism observed with the chimeric

  11. Local impact of temperature and precipitation on West Nile virus infection in Culex species mosquitoes in northeast Illinois, USA

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Models of the effects of environmental factors on West Nile virus disease risk have yielded conflicting outcomes. The role of precipitation has been especially difficult to discern from existing studies, due in part to habitat and behavior characteristics of specific vector species and because of differences in the temporal and spatial scales of the published studies. We used spatial and statistical modeling techniques to analyze and forecast fine scale spatial (2000 m grid) and temporal (weekly) patterns of West Nile virus mosquito infection relative to changing weather conditions in the urban landscape of the greater Chicago, Illinois, region for the years from 2004 to 2008. Results Increased air temperature was the strongest temporal predictor of increased infection in Culex pipiens and Culex restuans mosquitoes, with cumulative high temperature differences being a key factor distinguishing years with higher mosquito infection and higher human illness rates from those with lower rates. Drier conditions in the spring followed by wetter conditions just prior to an increase in infection were factors in some but not all years. Overall, 80% of the weekly variation in mosquito infection was explained by prior weather conditions. Spatially, lower precipitation was the most important variable predicting stronger mosquito infection; precipitation and temperature alone could explain the pattern of spatial variability better than could other environmental variables (79% explained in the best model). Variables related to impervious surfaces and elevation differences were of modest importance in the spatial model. Conclusion Finely grained temporal and spatial patterns of precipitation and air temperature have a consistent and significant impact on the timing and location of increased mosquito infection in the northeastern Illinois study area. The use of local weather data at multiple monitoring locations and the integration of mosquito infection data from

  12. Sindbis and West Nile virus infections in the Witwatersrand-Pretoria region.

    PubMed

    Jupp, P G; Blackburn, N K; Thompson, D L; Meenehan, G M

    1986-08-16

    From mid-December 1983 until mid-April 1984, there was an epidemic of Sindbis (SIN) virus infection in the Witwatersrand-Pretoria region in which hundreds of human cases were diagnosed clinically. Twenty-eight of these diagnoses were confirmed in the laboratory by seroconversion as being infections with SIN virus, and 5 cases of infection with West Nile (WN) virus were also found. Attempts to isolate virus from 66 patients, mainly from serum specimens, were unsuccessful. Infection rates for the mosquito vector Culex univittatus, collected at localities on the Witwatersrand in February and March, were mostly higher for both SIN and WN viruses than in previous years. The highest rates determined were 5.4 (SIN) and 9.6 (WN) per 1 000 mosquitoes. It is concluded that an epizootic of both viruses occurred which was manifested by a high level of viral activity in the feral Cx. univittatus-bird transmission cycle. Cx. univittatus efficiently transferred infection of SIN virus from this cycle to man to cause the epidemic of infection with that virus but it is unclear why there were apparently only a few cases of WN virus infection.

  13. Vector competence of North American mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) for West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Turell, M J; O'Guinn, M L; Dohm, D J; Jones, J W

    2001-03-01

    We evaluated the potential for several North American mosquito species to transmit the newly introduced West Nile (WN) virus. Mosquitoes collected in the New York City metropolitan area during the recent WN virus outbreak, at the Assateague Island Wildlife Refuge, VA, or from established colonies were allowed to feed on chickens infected with WN virus isolated from a crow that died during the 1999 outbreak. These mosquitoes were tested approximately 2 wk later to determine infection, dissemination, and transmission rates. Aedes albopictus (Skuse), Aedes atropalpus (Coquillett), and Aedes japonicus (Theobald) were highly susceptible to infection, and nearly all individuals with a disseminated infection transmitted virus by bite. Culex pipiens L. and Aedes sollicitans (Walker) were moderately susceptible. In contrast, Aedes vexans (Meigen), Aedes aegypti (L.), and Aedes taeniorhynchus (Wiedemann) were relatively refractory to infection, but individual mosquitoes inoculated with WN virus did transmit virus by bite. Infected female Cx. pipiens transmitted WN virus to one of 1,618 F1 progeny, indicating the potential for vertical transmission of this virus. In addition to laboratory vector competence, host-feeding preferences, relative abundance, and season of activity also determine the role that these species could play in transmitting WN virus.

  14. West Nile virus experimental evolution in vivo and the trade-off hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Deardorff, Eleanor R; Fitzpatrick, Kelly A; Jerzak, Greta V S; Shi, Pei-Yong; Kramer, Laura D; Ebel, Gregory D

    2011-11-01

    In nature, arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) perpetuate through alternating replication in vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. The trade-off hypothesis proposes that these viruses maintain adequate replicative fitness in two disparate hosts in exchange for superior fitness in one host. Releasing the virus from the constraints of a two-host cycle should thus facilitate adaptation to a single host. This theory has been addressed in a variety of systems, but remains poorly understood. We sought to determine the fitness implications of alternating host replication for West Nile virus (WNV) using an in vivo model system. Previously, WNV was serially or alternately passed 20 times in vivo in chicks or mosquitoes and resulting viruses were characterized genetically. In this study, these test viruses were competed in vivo in fitness assays against an unpassed marked reference virus. Fitness was assayed in chicks and in two important WNV vectors, Culex pipiens and Culex quinquefasciatus. Chick-specialized virus displayed clear fitness gains in chicks and in Cx. pipiens but not in Cx. quinquefasciatus. Cx. pipiens-specialized virus experienced reduced fitness in chicks and little change in either mosquito species. These data suggest that when fitness is measured in birds the trade-off hypothesis is supported; but in mosquitoes it is not. Overall, these results suggest that WNV evolution is driven by alternate cycles of genetic expansion in mosquitoes, where purifying selection is weak and genetic diversity generated, and restriction in birds, where purifying selection is strong.

  15. Pathogenicity of West Nile virus and response to vaccination in sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) using a killed vaccine.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsen, G.H.; Miller, K.J.; Docherty, D.E.; Bochsler, V.S.; Sileo, L.

    2009-01-01

    West Nile virus was introduced into the United States in the vicinity of New York, New York, USA in 1999. The virus has since killed large numbers of birds nationwide, especially, but not limited to, crows (Corvus brachyrhinchos). One sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) at the Bridgeport Zoo (Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA) reportedly died from West Nile virus, so sandhill cranes and endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana), both in the wild and in captive breeding colonies at United States Geological Service (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (Laurel, Maryland, USA) were considered at risk. A killed vaccine in sandhill cranes was evaluated by vaccinating and then challenging these cranes with live West Nile virus. No sandhill cranes inoculated with the killed vaccine developed significant titers when compared with unvaccinated controls. No sandhill cranes inoculated with the vaccine and challenged with the virus died from West Nile virus infection. In addition, no unvaccinated challenged sandhill cranes died. However, 2 days postchallenge, vaccinated cranes had significantly less viremia (P < 0.05) than unvaccinated cranes. Seven days postchallenge vaccinated cranes had significantly less cloacal shedding of the virus (P < 0.05) than unvaccinated cranes and significantly less weight loss (P < 0.05) as compared with unvaccinated cranes. Vaccinated sandhill cranes developed significantly higher titers 14 days postchallenge and were viremic for shorter periods of time after challenge than unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated challenged cranes had glial cell aggregates in both the brain and brain stem areas, and this was not observed in vaccinated challenged cranes or in vaccinated unchallenged cranes.

  16. Characterization of West Nile virus isolates from Spain: new insights into the distinct West Nile virus eco-epidemiology in the Western Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, Elena; Fernandez-Pinero, Jovita; Llorente, Francisco; Agüero, Montserrat; Hoefle, Ursula; Blanco, Juan M; Jiménez-Clavero, Miguel A

    2009-12-20

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus which causes important morbidity and mortality in birds, horses and humans. In the Western Mediterranean region, WNV causes sporadic, self-limited outbreaks, with few or no human cases. Here we report the characterization of two recent Western Mediterranean WNV isolates, obtained in Spain in 2007 from two golden eagles. Complete genome sequence comparisons revealed high identity between these isolates and close relationship with other Western Mediterranean WNV strains isolated since 1996. Phylogenetic analysis within this group indicated that two distinct phylogenetic groups have emerged from earlier strains. Pathogenicity analysis in mice showed that the Spanish isolate is less pathogenic than other strains either from the Western Mediterranean (Morocco 2003) or from North America (NY'99). Changes in amino acid position NS3-249 (claimed as a virulence marker) did not influence the pathogenicity observed. PMID:19833373

  17. Large human outbreak of West Nile virus infection in north-eastern Italy in 2012.

    PubMed

    Barzon, Luisa; Pacenti, Monia; Franchin, Elisa; Pagni, Silvana; Lavezzo, Enrico; Squarzon, Laura; Martello, Thomas; Russo, Francesca; Nicoletti, Loredana; Rezza, Giovanni; Castilletti, Concetta; Capobianchi, Maria Rosaria; Salcuni, Pasquale; Cattai, Margherita; Cusinato, Riccardo; Palù, Giorgio

    2013-11-22

    Human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) disease have been reported in Italy since 2008. So far, most cases have been identified in north-eastern Italy, where, in 2012, the largest outbreak of WNV infection ever recorded in Italy occurred. Most cases of the 2012 outbreak were identified in the Veneto region, where a special surveillance plan for West Nile fever was in place. In this outbreak, 25 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease and 17 cases of fever were confirmed. In addition, 14 WNV RNA-positive blood donors were identified by screening of blood and organ donations and two cases of asymptomatic infection were diagnosed by active surveillance of subjects at risk of WNV exposure. Two cases of death due to WNND were reported. Molecular testing demonstrated the presence of WNV lineage 1 in all WNV RNA-positive patients and, in 15 cases, infection by the novel Livenza strain was ascertained. Surveillance in other Italian regions notified one case of neuroinvasive disease in the south of Italy and two cases in Sardinia. Integrated surveillance for WNV infection remains a public health priority in Italy and vector control activities have been strengthened in areas of WNV circulation.

  18. West Nile virus circulation in South-Eastern Romania, 2011 to 2013.

    PubMed

    Dinu, S; Cotar, A I; Pănculescu-Gătej, I R; Fălcuţă, E; Prioteasa, F L; Sîrbu, A; Oprişan, G; Bădescu, D; Reiter, P; Ceianu, C S

    2015-05-21

    Lineage 2 West Nile virus (WNV), previously found only in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, was identified in Hungary in 2004 and has rapidly expanded in Europe in the past decade. Following a significant outbreak of West Nile fever with neurological cases caused by lineage 1 WNV in Romania in 1996, scattered cases have been recorded in the south-east of the country in each transmission season. Another outbreak, affecting a larger area and caused by lineage 2 WNV, was recorded in 2010. We analysed human sera from neuroinvasive West Nile fever cases and mosquitoes, sampled in south-eastern Romania between 2011 and 2013, for the presence of WNV genome, and obtained partial NS5 and envelope glycoprotein sequences. Human- and mosquito-derived WNV sequences were highly similar (99%) to Volgograd 2007 lineage 2 WNV and differed from isolates previously detected in central and southern Europe. WNV was detected in one pool of Culex pipiens s.l. males, documenting vertical transmission. Lineage 4 WNV, of unknown pathogenicity to mammals, was found in the amphibian-feeding mosquito Uranotaenia unguiculata from the Danube Delta. Our results present molecular evidence for the maintenance of the same isolates of Volgograd 2007-like lineage 2 WNV in south-eastern Romania between 2011 and 2013.

  19. Specific interaction of capsid protein and importin-{alpha}/{beta} influences West Nile virus production

    SciTech Connect

    Bhuvanakantham, Raghavan; Chong, Mun-Keat; Ng, Mah-Lee

    2009-11-06

    West Nile virus (WNV) capsid (C) protein has been shown to enter the nucleus of infected cells. However, the mechanism by which C protein enters the nucleus is unknown. In this study, we have unveiled for the first time that nuclear transport of WNV and Dengue virus C protein is mediated by their direct association with importin-{alpha}. This interplay is mediated by the consensus sequences of bipartite nuclear localization signal located between amino acid residues 85-101 together with amino acid residues 42 and 43 of C protein. Elucidation of biological significance of importin-{alpha}/C protein interaction demonstrated that the binding efficiency of this association influenced the nuclear entry of C protein and virus production. Collectively, this study illustrated the molecular mechanism by which the C protein of arthropod-borne flavivirus enters the nucleus and showed the importance of importin-{alpha}/C protein interaction in the context of flavivirus life-cycle.

  20. Role of Communally Nesting Ardeid Birds in the Epidemiology of West Nile Virus Revisited

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, Sarah; Armijos, M. Veronica; Fang, Ying; Garcia, Sandra; Kelley, Kara; Wright, Stan

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Although herons and egrets in the family Ardeidae frequently have been associated with viruses in the Japanese encephalitis virus serocomplex, communal nesting colonies do not appear to be a focus of early season and rapid amplification of West Nile virus (WNV) in California. Evidence for repeated WNV infection was found by testing living and dead nestlings collected under trees with mixed species ardeid colonies nesting above in an oak grove near the University of California arboretum in Davis and in a Eucalyptus grove at a rural farmstead. However, mosquito infection rates at both nesting sites were low and positive pools did not occur earlier than at comparison sites within the City of Davis or at the Yolo Bypass wetlands managed for rice production and waterfowl habitat. Black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) were the most abundant and frequently infected ardeid species, indicating that WNV may be an important cause of mortality among nestlings of this species. PMID:19125659

  1. Variation in interferon sensitivity and induction between Usutu and West Nile (lineages 1 and 2) viruses.

    PubMed

    Cacciotti, Giulia; Caputo, Beniamino; Selvaggi, Carla; la Sala, Andrea; Vitiello, Laura; Diallo, Diawo; Ceianu, Cornelia; Antonelli, Guido; Nowotny, Norbert; Scagnolari, Carolina

    2015-11-01

    Given the pivotal role of monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) in determining the magnitude of the antiviral innate immune response, we sought to determine whether Usutu virus (USUV) and West Nile virus (WNV) lineages (L)1 and L2 can infect DCs and affect the rate of type I interferon (IFN) activation. The sensitivity of these viruses to types I and III IFNs was also compared. We found that USUV can infect DCs, induce higher antiviral activities, IFN alpha subtypes and the IFN stimulated gene (ISG)15 pathway, and is more sensitive to types I and III IFNs than WNVs. In contrast, we confirmed that IFN alpha/beta subtypes were more effective against WNV L2 than WNV L1. However, the replication kinetics, induction of IFN alpha subtypes and ISGs in DCs and the sensitivity to IFN lambda 1-3 did not differ between WNV L1 and L2.

  2. Role of communally nesting ardeid birds in the epidemiology of West Nile virus revisited.

    PubMed

    Reisen, William K; Wheeler, Sarah; Armijos, M Veronica; Fang, Ying; Garcia, Sandra; Kelley, Kara; Wright, Stan

    2009-06-01

    Although herons and egrets in the family Ardeidae frequently have been associated with viruses in the Japanese encephalitis virus serocomplex, communal nesting colonies do not appear to be a focus of early season and rapid amplification of West Nile virus (WNV) in California. Evidence for repeated WNV infection was found by testing living and dead nestlings collected under trees with mixed species ardeid colonies nesting above in an oak grove near the University of California arboretum in Davis and in a Eucalyptus grove at a rural farmstead. However, mosquito infection rates at both nesting sites were low and positive pools did not occur earlier than at comparison sites within the City of Davis or at the Yolo Bypass wetlands managed for rice production and waterfowl habitat. Black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) were the most abundant and frequently infected ardeid species, indicating that WNV may be an important cause of mortality among nestlings of this species. PMID:19125659

  3. Characterization of West Nile viruses isolated form captive American flamingoes (Phoenicopterus ruber) in Medellin, Colombia.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osorio, Jorge E.; Ciuoderis, Karl A.; Lopera, Juan G.; Piedrahita, Leidy D.; Murphy, Darby; LeVasseur, James; Carrillo, Lina; Ocampo, Martha C.; Hofmeister, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Serum samples from a total of 71 healthy captive birds belonging to 18 species were collected in July of 2008 in Medellin (Colombia) and tested for flaviviruses. Eighteen of 29 samples from American Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus ruber) were positive for West Nile virus (WNV) by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Selected positive samples were serially passaged and WNV was confirmed by immunofluorescence. Two isolates (524/08, 9835/08) were characterized in vitro and in vivo. Sequence analysis revealed WNV with 16 nucleotide substitutions resulting in six amino acid changes when compared with the NY99 strain. Colombian (COL) viruses were more closely related to Louisiana isolates from 2001. When compared with attenuated strains isolated from Texas, COL isolates differed in their plaque size and temperature sensitivity phenotype. The COL viruses were pathogenic in embryonated chicken eggs and Balb/c mice.

  4. Quantifying the Risk of Introduction of West Nile Virus into Great Britain by Migrating Passerine Birds.

    PubMed

    Bessell, P R; Robinson, R A; Golding, N; Searle, K R; Handel, I G; Boden, L A; Purse, B V; Bronsvoort, B M de C

    2016-10-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito borne arbovirus that circulates within avian reservoirs. WNV can spill over into humans and Equidae that are dead-end hosts for WNV but suffer fever, acute morbidity and sometimes death. Outbreaks of WNV are common across Africa and Eastern Europe, and there have also been sporadic outbreaks in Spain and the Camargue Regional Park in France, but never in Great Britain (GB). These areas all fall along a major bird migration route. In this study, we analyse a scenario in which WNV is circulating in the Camargue or in other wetland areas in France and we estimate the risk of northward migrating passerine birds stopping in a WNV hotspot, becoming infected and carrying active infection to GB. If the disease were circulating in the Camargue during a single migratory season, the probability that one or more migrating birds becomes infected and lands in GB whilst still infected is 0.881 with 0.384 birds arriving in areas of suitable vector habitat. However, if WNV became established in the Grand Brière National Park or La Brenne Regional Park wetland areas further to the north, the model predicts that at least one infected bird will continue to GB. Thus, GB is at risk of WNV introduction from the Camargue, but the risk is considerably greater if WNV were to circulate further north than its previous focus in France, but this is highly sensitive to the force of infection in the infected area. However, the risk of establishment and infection of humans in GB is dependent upon a number of additional factors, in particular the vector and epidemiological situation in GB.

  5. West Nile Virus Retinopathy and Associations with Long Term Neurological and Neurocognitive Sequelae

    PubMed Central

    Hasbun, Rodrigo; Garcia, Melissa N.; Kellaway, Judianne; Baker, Laura; Salazar, Lucrecia; Woods, Steven Paul

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has emerged as an important vector-borne pathogen in North America, with more than 3 million estimated to have been infected. Retinopathy from WNV infection has been previously reported in acute cases, though those prior reports did not evaluate the risk of retinopathy based on clinical severity of neurologic disease. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to perform comprehensive ophthalmological and neurological examinations on 111 patients with a history of West Nile virus infection and describe the ocular manifestations. Out of 111 patients, 27 (24%) had evidence for West Nile virus associated retinopathy (WNVR); this observation was higher (49%) in those patients who initially presented with encephalitis. Individuals with WNVR had more frequent involvement of the macula and peripheral involvement compared to those patients without WNVR (p<0.05). WNVR was also associated with a greater likelihood of abnormal reflexes on neurological exam, poorer learning, greater dependence in activities of daily living, and lower quality of life (p<0.05). WNVR was seen more frequently in elderly patients (age > 60 years), and was associated with higher rates of diabetes mellitus and a history of encephalitis (p<0.05). A multivariable logistic regression revealed that only a history of encephalitis was independently associated with WNVR [Adjusted Odds Ratio = 4.9 (1.8–13.2); p = 0.001]. Our study found that WNVR occurs in one fourth of patients with a history of WNV infection and is more frequently observed in those with apparent severe neurological sequelae (e.g., encephalitis). The clinical relevance of WNVR was supported by its associations with dependence in activities of daily living and lower quality of life. This unique evaluation of WNV patients included fundoscopic examinations and their associations with neurologic impairment. Our findings can be used during ophthalmological consultation for the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation

  6. West Nile virus lineage 2 infection in a blood donor from Vienna, Austria, August 2014.

    PubMed

    Jungbauer, C; Hourfar, M K; Stiasny, K; Aberle, S W; Cadar, D; Schmidt-Chanasit, J; Mayr, W R

    2015-03-01

    Eastern Austria is neighbouring regions with ongoing West Nile virus (WNV) transmissions. Three human WNV infections had been diagnosed during the past decade in Austria. The Austrian Red Cross Blood Service (ARC-BS) started a first voluntary screening for WNV in blood donors from Eastern Austria by Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) in June 2014. This is also the most extensive WNV surveillance programme in humans in Austria so far. In August 2014, one autochthonous WNV infection was detected in a blood donor from Vienna. By now, one in 67,800 whole blood donations was found to be positive for WNV RNA.

  7. Antibodies to West Nile virus in wild and farmed crocodiles in southeastern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Machain-Williams, Carlos; Padilla-Paz, Sergio E; Weber, Manuel; Cetina-Trejo, Rosa; Juarez-Ordaz, José Alfredo; Loroño-Pino, María Alba; Ulloa, Armando; Wang, Chong; Garcia-Rejon, Julián; Blitvich, Bradley J

    2013-07-01

    Surveillance for evidence of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) was conducted in Campeche State, Mexico, in 2007. Sera from 62 crocodiles (32 free-ranging and 30 captive) were assayed for antibodies to WNV by epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antibodies to WNV were detected in 13 (41%) wild and nine (30%) captive crocodiles, and the overall antibody prevalence was 35%. Although evidence of WNV infection in captive crocodiles has been reported in Mexico, we provide the first evidence of WNV exposure in wild crocodiles in Mexico.

  8. Passive West Nile virus antibody transfer from maternal Eastern Screech-Owls (Megascops asio) to progeny

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hahn, D.C.; Nemeth, N.M.; Edwards, E.; Bright, P.R.; Komar, N.

    2006-01-01

    Transovarial antibody transfer in owls has not been demonstrated for West Nile virus (WNV). We sampled chicks from captive adult WNV-antibody-positive Eastern Screech-Owls (Megascops asio) to evaluate the prevalence of transovarial maternal antibody transfer, as well as titers and duration of maternal antibodies. Twenty-four owlets aged 1 to 27 days old circulated detectable antibodies with neutralizing antibody titers ranging from 20 to 1600 (median 1:40). Demonstrating that WNV antibodies are passively transferred transovarially is important for accurate interpretation of serologic data from young birds.

  9. Association between high expression macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) alleles and West Nile virus encephalitis.

    PubMed

    Das, Rituparna; Loughran, Kerry; Murchison, Charles; Qian, Feng; Leng, Lin; Song, Yan; Montgomery, Ruth R; Loeb, Mark; Bucala, Richard

    2016-02-01

    Infection with mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) is usually asymptomatic but can lead to severe WNV encephalitis. The innate cytokine, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), is elevated in patients with WNV encephalitis and promotes viral neuroinvasion and mortality in animal models. In a case-control study, we examined functional polymorphisms in the MIF locus in a cohort of 454 North American patients with neuroinvasive WNV disease and found patients homozygous for high-expression MIF alleles to be >20-fold (p=0.008) more likely to have WNV encephalitis. These data indicate that MIF is an important determinant of severity of WNV neuropathogenesis and may be a therapeutic target.

  10. Prevalence of neutralizing antibodies to West Nile virus in Eleonora's Falcons in the Canary Islands.

    PubMed

    Gangoso, Laura; Grande, Juan Manuel; Llorente, Francisco; Jiménez-Clavero, Miguel Ángel; Pérez, Jesús M; Figuerola, Jordi

    2010-10-01

    Birds are the major amplifying host for West Nile virus (WNV), a flavivirus that may affect humans and transmitted by bloodsucking vectors. Eleonora's Falcons (Falco eleonorae) migrate to the Canary Islands annually from WNV-endemic regions. To investigate the possible role of Eleonora's Falcons in the circulation of WNV, we measured WNV-specific antibodies in 81 falcons captured in 2006. None of the nestlings but 14.8% of the adults had WNV-neutralizing antibodies. RT-PCR did not detect flaviviruses in nonculicine ectoparasites (n=231) of the falcons. These findings suggest that WNV infection did not occur locally, but rather on the wintering grounds or during migration.

  11. West Nile virus reemergence in Romania: a serologic survey in host species.

    PubMed

    Ludu Oslobanu, Elena Luanda; Mihu-Pintilie, Alin; Anită, Dragos; Anita, Adriana; Lecollinet, Sylvie; Savuta, Gheorghe

    2014-05-01

    The presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in humans has been known in Romania since the 1950s; the 1996 epidemics emphasized the reemergence potential of WNV in Romania. Serological surveys made on susceptible species, known as good sentinels or reservoir hosts, e.g., horses, wild and domestic birds were undertaken from 2006-2011. Our results corroborated incidence data in human patients and other recent seroprevalence studies in animals, and should partially clarify the emergence of WNV in the eastern rural territories of Romania. It also highlighted risk zones for endemic WNV infection in Romania. PMID:24745699

  12. West Nile virus reemergence in Romania: a serologic survey in host species.

    PubMed

    Ludu Oslobanu, Elena Luanda; Mihu-Pintilie, Alin; Anită, Dragos; Anita, Adriana; Lecollinet, Sylvie; Savuta, Gheorghe

    2014-05-01

    The presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in humans has been known in Romania since the 1950s; the 1996 epidemics emphasized the reemergence potential of WNV in Romania. Serological surveys made on susceptible species, known as good sentinels or reservoir hosts, e.g., horses, wild and domestic birds were undertaken from 2006-2011. Our results corroborated incidence data in human patients and other recent seroprevalence studies in animals, and should partially clarify the emergence of WNV in the eastern rural territories of Romania. It also highlighted risk zones for endemic WNV infection in Romania.

  13. Fluid Spatial Dynamics of West Nile Virus in the United States: Rapid Spread in a Permissive Host Environment

    PubMed Central

    Di Giallonardo, Francesca; Geoghegan, Jemma L.; Docherty, Douglas E.; McLean, Robert G.; Zody, Michael C.; Qu, James; Yang, Xiao; Birren, Bruce W.; Malboeuf, Christine M.; Newman, Ruchi M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) into North America in 1999 is a classic example of viral emergence in a new environment, with its subsequent dispersion across the continent having a major impact on local bird populations. Despite the importance of this epizootic, the pattern, dynamics, and determinants of WNV spread in its natural hosts remain uncertain. In particular, it is unclear whether the virus encountered major barriers to transmission, or spread in an unconstrained manner, and if specific viral lineages were favored over others indicative of intrinsic differences in fitness. To address these key questions in WNV evolution and ecology, we sequenced the complete genomes of approximately 300 avian isolates sampled across the United States between 2001 and 2012. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a relatively star-like tree structure, indicative of explosive viral spread in the United States, although with some replacement of viral genotypes through time. These data are striking in that viral sequences exhibit relatively limited clustering according to geographic region, particularly for those viruses sampled from birds, and no strong phylogenetic association with well-sampled avian species. The genome sequence data analyzed here also contain relatively little evidence for adaptive evolution, particularly of structural proteins, suggesting that most viral lineages are of similar fitness and that WNV is well adapted to the ecology of mosquito vectors and diverse avian hosts in the United States. In sum, the molecular evolution of WNV in North America depicts a largely unfettered expansion within a permissive host and geographic population with little evidence of major adaptive barriers. IMPORTANCE How viruses spread in new host and geographic environments is central to understanding the emergence and evolution of novel infectious diseases and for predicting their likely impact. The emergence of the vector-borne West Nile virus (WNV) in North

  14. Vertical transmission of West Nile Virus by three California Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) species.

    PubMed

    Goddard, Laura B; Roth, Amy E; Reisen, William K; Scott, Thomas W

    2003-11-01

    Three California Culex species previously identified as efficient laboratory vectors of West Nile (WN) virus were tested for their capability to vertically transmit WN virus. Wild-caught Culex pipiens pipiens L., Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus Say, and two populations of Culex tarsalis Coquillett females were inoculated intrathoracically with 10(2.7 +/- 0.1) plaque-forming units of WN virus. F1 progeny were reared at 18 degrees C and subsequently tested as adults for infectious virus on Vero cell culture. Virus was not detected in 197 pools comprising 4,884 Cx. p. pipiens. The minimum filial infection rate (MFIR) for Cx. p. quinquefasciatus was approximately 3.0/1,000 for 665 progeny tested in 28 pools. There was no virus detected in 102 pools of 2,453 progeny from Cx. tarsalis collected in Riverside County. The MFIR for Cx. tarsalis collected in Yolo County was approximately 6.9/1,000 for 2,165 progeny tested in 86 pools. Mosquito progeny infected vertically during the fall could potentially serve as a mechanism for WN virus to overwinter and initiate horizontal transmission the following spring. PMID:14765647

  15. West Nile Virus and Other Nationally Notifiable Arboviral Diseases - United States, 2014.

    PubMed

    Lindsey, Nicole P; Lehman, Jennifer A; Staples, J Erin; Fischer, Marc

    2015-09-01

    Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes and ticks. West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of domestically acquired arboviral disease in the United States (1). However, several other arboviruses also cause sporadic cases and seasonal outbreaks. This report summarizes surveillance data reported to CDC in 2014 for WNV and other nationally notifiable arboviruses, excluding dengue. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia (DC) reported 2,205 cases of WNV disease. Of these, 1,347 (61%) were classified as WNV neuroinvasive disease (e.g., meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis), for a national incidence of 0.42 cases per 100,000 population. After WNV, the next most commonly reported cause of arboviral disease was La Crosse virus (80 cases), followed by Jamestown Canyon virus (11), St. Louis encephalitis virus (10), Powassan virus (8), and Eastern equine encephalitis virus (8). WNV and other arboviruses cause serious illness in substantial numbers of persons each year. Maintaining surveillance programs is important to help direct prevention activities.

  16. High throughput quantitative colorimetric microneutralization assay for the confirmation and differentiation of West Nile Virus and St. Louis encephalitis virus.

    PubMed

    Taketa-Graham, Michael; Powell Pereira, Jaime L; Baylis, Elizabeth; Cossen, Cynthia; Oceguera, Leopoldo; Patiris, Peter; Chiles, Robert; Hanson, Carl V; Forghani, Bagher; Forghani, BagHer

    2010-03-01

    An automated colorimetric micro-neutralization assay (CmNt) was developed for confirmation and differentiation of West Nile Virus (WNV)-positive human sera as a higher throughput alternative to the standard six-well plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT). CmNt was performed in high-capacity 96-well micro-titer plates and required 4-6 days to complete. Inhibition of infection was determined by reduced neutral red-dye retention and conveniently recorded by a colorimetric plate reader. Human sera previously confirmed by PRNT as either negative (N = 52), WNV positive (N = 81), or St. Louis encephalitis virus positive (N = 12) were tested by CmNt; interpreted results were virtually identical to PRNT with a reduced turnaround time and higher throughput. Additionally, a handful of dengue virus positive and negative specimens (four each) were tested by CmNt; interpreted results were identical to PRNT.

  17. Experimental susceptibility of wood ducks (Aix sponsa) for West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Hofmeister, Erik; Porter, Robert E; Franson, J Christian

    2015-04-01

    Detection of West Nile virus (WNV) has been reported in a variety of wild ducks in the US, but little is known about the pathogenesis and outcome of exposure of the disease in these species. Previous experimental studies of WNV in ducks either have challenged a small number of ducks with WNV or have tested domesticated ducks. To determine susceptibility and immune response, we challenged 7-wk-old Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) with a 1999 American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) isolate of WNV. Wood Ducks were susceptible to infection with the virus, and, although clinical signs or mortality were not observed, microscopic lesions were noted, particularly in the heart and brain. West Nile virus viremia peaked on day 2 postinfection (pi) at 10(4.54) plaque-forming units (PFU) of virus/mL serum and WNV was shed orally (between 10(2) and 10(2.9) PFU per swab) and cloacally. Specific anti-WNV antibody response was rapid, with anti-WNV IgM detected on day 3 pi followed on day 5 pi by anti-WNV IgG. Neutralizing antibodies were detected by plaque-reduction neutralization assay in one duck on day 4 pi, and in all sampled ducks on day 5. These results indicate that Wood Ducks are susceptible to WNV, but it is unlikely that significant WNV mortality events occur in Wood Ducks or that they play a significant role in transmission. However, WNV viremia was sufficient, in theory, to infect mosquitoes, and oral and cloacal shedding of the virus may increase the risk of infection to other waterbirds.

  18. Experimental susceptibility of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) for West Nile virus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Porter, Robert E.; Franson, J. Christian

    2015-01-01

    Detection of West Nile virus (WNV) has been reported in a variety of wild ducks in the US, but little is known about the pathogenesis and outcome of exposure of the disease in these species. Previous experimental studies of WNV in ducks either have challenged a small number of ducks with WNV or have tested domesticated ducks. To determine susceptibility and immune response, we challenged 7-wk-old Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) with a 1999 American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) isolate of WNV. Wood Ducks were susceptible to infection with the virus, and, although clinical signs or mortality were not observed, microscopic lesions were noted, particularly in the heart and brain. West Nile virus viremia peaked on day 2 postinfection (pi) at 104.54 plaque-forming units (PFU) of virus/mL serum and WNV was shed orally (between 102and 102.9 PFU per swab) and cloacally. Specific anti-WNV antibody response was rapid, with anti-WNV IgM detected on day 3 pi followed on day 5 pi by anti-WNV IgG. Neutralizing antibodies were detected by plaque-reduction neutralization assay in one duck on day 4 pi, and in all sampled ducks on day 5. These results indicate that Wood Ducks are susceptible to WNV, but it is unlikely that significant WNV mortality events occur in Wood Ducks or that ducks play a significant role in transmission. However, WNV viremia was sufficient, in theory, to infect mosquitoes, and oral and cloacal shedding of the virus may increase the risk of infection to other waterbirds.

  19. Avian GIS models signal human risk for West Nile virus in Mississippi

    PubMed Central

    Cooke, William H; Grala, Katarzyna; Wallis, Robert C

    2006-01-01

    Background West Nile virus (WNV) poses a significant health risk for residents of Mississippi. Physicians and state health officials are interested in new and efficient methods for monitoring disease spread and predicting future outbreaks. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) models have the potential to support these efforts. Environmental conditions favorable for mosquito habitat were modeled using GIS to derive WNV risk maps for Mississippi. Variables important to WNV dissemination were selected and classified as static and dynamic. The static variables included road density, stream density, slope, and vegetation. The dynamic variable represented seasonal water budget and was calculated using precipitation and evaporation estimates. Significance tests provided deterministic evidence of variable importance to the models. Results Several models were developed to estimate WNV risk including a landscape-base model and seasonal climatic sub-models. P-values from t-tests guided variable importance ranking. Variables were ranked and weights assigned as follows: road density (0.4), stream density (0.3), slope (0.2) and vegetation (0.1). This landscape-base model was modified by climatic conditions to assess the importance of climate to WNV risk. Human case data at the zip code level were used to validate modeling results. All models were summarized by zip codes for interpretation and model validation. For all models, estimated risk was higher for zip codes with at least one human case than for zip codes where no human cases were recorded. Overall median measure of risk by zip code indicated that 67% of human cases occurred in the high-risk category. Conclusion Modeling results indicated that dead bird occurrences are correlated with human WNV risk and can facilitate the assessment of environmental variables that contribute to that risk. Each variable's importance in GIS-based risk predictions was assigned deterministically. Our models indicated non-uniform distribution

  20. Predicting Hotspots for Influenza Virus Reassortment

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Marius; Martin, Vincent; Cappelle, Julien; Hosseini, Parviez; Njabo, Kevin Y.; Abdel Aziz, Soad; Xiao, Xiangming; Daszak, Peter; Smith, Thomas B.

    2013-01-01

    The 1957 and 1968 influenza pandemics, each of which killed ≈1 million persons, arose through reassortment events. Influenza virus in humans and domestic animals could reassort and cause another pandemic. To identify geographic areas where agricultural production systems are conducive to reassortment, we fitted multivariate regression models to surveillance data on influenza A virus subtype H5N1 among poultry in China and Egypt and subtype H3N2 among humans. We then applied the models across Asia and Egypt to predict where subtype H3N2 from humans and subtype H5N1 from birds overlap; this overlap serves as a proxy for co-infection and in vivo reassortment. For Asia, we refined the prioritization by identifying areas that also have high swine density. Potential geographic foci of reassortment include the northern plains of India, coastal and central provinces of China, the western Korean Peninsula and southwestern Japan in Asia, and the Nile Delta in Egypt. PMID:23628436

  1. West Nile virus infection in birds and mosquitoes, New York State, 2000.

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, K. A.; Maffei, J. G.; Jones, S. A.; Kauffman, E. B.; Ebel, G.; Dupuis, A. P.; Ngo, K. A.; Nicholas, D. C.; Young, D. M.; Shi, P. Y.; Kulasekera, V. L.; Eidson, M.; White, D. J.; Stone, W. B.; Kramer, L. D.

    2001-01-01

    West Nile (WN) virus was found throughout New York State in 2000, with the epicenter in New York City and surrounding counties. We tested 3,403 dead birds and 9,954 mosquito pools for WN virus during the transmission season. Sixty-three avian species, representing 30 families and 14 orders, tested positive for WN virus. The highest proportion of dead birds that tested positive for WN virus was in American Crows in the epicenter (67% positive, n=907). Eight mosquito species, representing four genera, were positive for WN virus. The minimum infection rate per 1,000 mosquitoes (MIR) was highest for Culex pipiens in the epicenter: 3.53 for the entire season and 7.49 for the peak week of August 13. Staten Island had the highest MIR (11.42 for Cx. pipiens), which was associated with the highest proportion of dead American Crows that tested positive for WN virus (92%, n=48) and the highest number of human cases (n=10). PMID:11585532

  2. Individual donor nucleic acid amplification testing for detection of West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dong-Hun; Mathew, John; Pfahler, Wolfram; Ma, Dongling; Valinsky, Jay; Prince, Alfred M; Andrus, Linda

    2005-10-01

    We have developed an economical, high-throughput nucleic acid amplification test (NAT) for blood-borne viruses, suitable for use in the screening of plasma samples from individual blood donors. This assay system includes a semiautomated procedure, using 96-well glass fiber plates for the extraction of viral nucleic acids from plasma and "universal beacon" technology which permits the detection of all genotypes of highly variable viruses (e.g., human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus). In this detection system, two fluorescent- detection technologies were employed successfully in a single tube: molecular beacon for West Nile virus (WNV) detection using a 6-carboxyfluorescein fluorophore and TaqMan for internal control detection using a VIC fluorophore. To establish proof of concept, we focused on the development of a robust individual donor NAT for WNV. The assay showed no reactivity to 15 other viruses tested or to 420 blood donor samples from the WNV pre-epidemic season. No cross-contamination was observed on an alternating positive-/negative-well test. The sensitivity (limit of detection, 95%) of the assay for WNV is between 3.79 and 16.3 RNA copies/ml, depending on which material was used as a standard. The assay detected all positive blood donation samples identified by the Roche WNV NAT. The assay can be performed qualitatively for screening and quantitatively for confirmation.

  3. RNA interference screen for human genes associated with West Nile virus infection.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Manoj N; Ng, Aylwin; Sukumaran, Bindu; Gilfoy, Felicia D; Uchil, Pradeep D; Sultana, Hameeda; Brass, Abraham L; Adametz, Rachel; Tsui, Melody; Qian, Feng; Montgomery, Ruth R; Lev, Sima; Mason, Peter W; Koski, Raymond A; Elledge, Stephen J; Xavier, Ramnik J; Agaisse, Herve; Fikrig, Erol

    2008-09-11

    West Nile virus (WNV), and related flaviviruses such as tick-borne encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever and dengue viruses, constitute a significant global human health problem. However, our understanding of the molecular interaction of such flaviviruses with mammalian host cells is limited. WNV encodes only 10 proteins, implying that it may use many cellular proteins for infection. WNV enters the cytoplasm through pH-dependent endocytosis, undergoes cycles of translation and replication, assembles progeny virions in association with endoplasmic reticulum, and exits along the secretory pathway. RNA interference (RNAi) presents a powerful forward genetics approach to dissect virus-host cell interactions. Here we report the identification of 305 host proteins that affect WNV infection, using a human-genome-wide RNAi screen. Functional clustering of the genes revealed a complex dependence of this virus on host cell physiology, requiring a wide variety of molecules and cellular pathways for successful infection. We further demonstrate a requirement for the ubiquitin ligase CBLL1 in WNV internalization, a post-entry role for the endoplasmic-reticulum-associated degradation pathway in viral infection, and the monocarboxylic acid transporter MCT4 as a viral replication resistance factor. By extending this study to dengue virus, we show that flaviviruses have both overlapping and unique interaction strategies with host cells. This study provides a comprehensive molecular portrait of WNV-human cell interactions that forms a model for understanding single plus-stranded RNA virus infection, and reveals potential antiviral targets.

  4. West Nile virus disease and other arboviral diseases--United States, 2010.

    PubMed

    2011-08-01

    Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes and ticks. Since West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in the Western Hemisphere in 1999, it has become the leading cause of neuroinvasive arboviral disease in the United States. However, several other arboviruses continue to cause sporadic cases and seasonal outbreaks of neuroinvasive disease (i.e., meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis). This report summarizes surveillance data reported to CDC in 2010 for WNV and other nationally notifiable arboviruses (excluding dengue, which is reported separately). In 2010, 40 states and the District of Columbia (DC) reported 1,021 cases of WNV disease. Of these, 629 (62%) were classified as WNV neuroinvasive disease, for a national incidence of 0.20 per 100,000 population. States with the highest incidence were Arizona (1.60), New Mexico (1.03), Nebraska (0.55), and Colorado (0.51). After WNV, the next most commonly reported cause of neuroinvasive arboviral disease was California serogroup viruses (CALV), with 68 cases, followed by eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), 10 cases, St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), eight cases, and Powassan virus (POWV), eight cases. WNV and other arboviruses continue to cause focal outbreaks and severe illness in substantial numbers of persons in the United States. Maintaining surveillance remains important to guide arboviral disease prevention activities.

  5. Noncoding Subgenomic Flavivirus RNA: Multiple Functions in West Nile Virus Pathogenesis and Modulation of Host Responses

    PubMed Central

    Roby, Justin A.; Pijlman, Gorben P.; Wilusz, Jeffrey; Khromykh, Alexander A.

    2014-01-01

    Flaviviruses are a large group of positive strand RNA viruses transmitted by arthropods that include many human pathogens such as West Nile virus (WNV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), yellow fever virus, dengue virus, and tick-borne encephalitis virus. All members in this genus tested so far are shown to produce a unique subgenomic flavivirus RNA (sfRNA) derived from the 3' untranslated region (UTR). sfRNA is a product of incomplete degradation of genomic RNA by the cell 5'–3' exoribonuclease XRN1 which stalls at highly ordered secondary RNA structures at the beginning of the 3'UTR. Generation of sfRNA results in inhibition of XRN1 activity leading to an increase in stability of many cellular mRNAs. Mutant WNV deficient in sfRNA generation was highly attenuated displaying a marked decrease in cytopathicity in cells and pathogenicity in mice. sfRNA has also been shown to inhibit the antiviral activity of IFN-α/β by yet unknown mechanism and of the RNAi pathway by likely serving as a decoy substrate for Dicer. Thus, sfRNA is involved in modulating multiple cellular pathways to facilitate viral pathogenicity; however the overlying mechanism linking all these multiple functions of sfRNA remains to be elucidated. PMID:24473339

  6. Deciphering the molecular basis for nucleotide selection by the West Nile virus RNA helicase

    PubMed Central

    Despins, Simon; Issur, Moheshwarnath; Bougie, Isabelle; Bisaillon, Martin

    2010-01-01

    The West Nile virus RNA helicase uses the energy derived from the hydrolysis of nucleotides to separate complementary strands of RNA. Although this enzyme has a preference for ATP, the bias towards this purine nucleotide cannot be explained on the basis of specific protein–ATP interactions. Moreover, the enzyme does not harbor the characteristic Q-motif found in other helicases that regulates binding to ATP. In the present study, we used structural homology modeling to generate a model of the West Nile virus RNA helicase active site that provides instructive findings on the interaction between specific amino acids and the ATP substrate. In addition, we evaluated both the phosphohydrolysis and the inhibitory potential of a collection of 30 synthetic purine analogs. A structure-guided alanine scan of 16 different amino acids was also performed to clarify the contacts that are made between the enzyme and ATP. Our study provides a molecular rationale for the bias of the enzyme for ATP by highlighting the specific functional groups on ATP that are important for binding. Moreover, we identified three new essential amino acids (Arg-185, Arg-202 and Asn-417) that are critical for phosphohydrolysis. Finally, we provide evidence that a region located upstream of motif I, which we termed the nucleotide specificity region, plays a functional role in nucleotide selection which is reminiscent to the role exerted by the Q-motif found in other helicases. PMID:20421212

  7. Experimental West Nile virus infection in Gyr-Saker hybrid falcons.

    PubMed

    Busquets, Núria; Bertran, Kateri; Costa, Taiana P; Rivas, Raquel; de la Fuente, Jorge García; Villalba, Rubén; Solanes, David; Bensaid, Albert; Majó, Natàlia; Pagès, Nonito

    2012-06-01

    West Nile disease (WND) has become a major public and veterinary health concern since the appearance of West Nile virus (WNV) in New York in 1999. The following panzootic spread in the U.S. and the recent WNV outbreaks in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin have increased interest in WND. Despite considerable investigation of WNV infection in birds, the effects of WNV on avian populations are still largely unknown. In Europe, raptors have been found to be particularly susceptible to WNV infection, but studies in birds of prey are lacking. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to report an experimental infection with WNV in Gyr-Saker hybrid falcons. We show that 10-week-old captive-reared Gyr-Saker (Falco rusticolus × Falco cherrug) hybrid falcons are susceptible to WNV infection. Neither morbidity nor mortality was observed after subcutaneous WNV inoculation with mixed extracts of non-infected mosquito salivary glands. Both the macroscopic and microscopic lesions observed were similar to those previously reported in naturally and experimentally infected North American raptors. The results obtained in the present study demonstrate that although Gyr-Saker hybrid falcons do not seem to be a good reservoir for WNV transmission via mosquito, they can become infected with WNV, develop viremia and antibodies, and are able to shed the virus.

  8. Inhibition of West Nile Virus Multiplication in Cell Culture by Anti-Parkinsonian Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Blázquez, Ana B.; Martín-Acebes, Miguel A.; Saiz, Juan-Carlos

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus maintained in a transmission cycle between mosquitoes and birds, but it can also infect other vertebrates, including humans, in which it can cause neuroinvasive diseases. To date, no licensed vaccine or therapy for human use against this pathogen is yet available. A recent approach to search for new antiviral agent candidates is the assessment of long-used drugs commonly administered by clinicians to treat human disorders in drug antiviral development. In this regard, as patients with West Nile encephalitis frequently develop symptoms and features of parkinsonism, and cellular factors altered in parkinsonism, such as alpha-synuclein, have been shown to play a role on WNV infection, we have assessed the effect of four drugs (L-dopa, Selegiline, Isatin, and Amantadine), that are used as therapy for Parkinson’s disease in the inhibition of WNV multiplication. L-dopa, Isatin, and Amantadine treatments significantly reduced the production of infectious virus in all cell types tested, but only Amantadine reduced viral RNA levels. These results point to antiparkinsonian drugs as possible therapeutic candidates for the development of antiviral strategies against WNV infection. PMID:27014219

  9. Impact of Climate and Environmental Factors on West Nile Virus Circulation in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadnejad, Farzaneh; Otarod, Vahid; Fathnia, Amanollah; Ahmadabadi, Ali; Fallah, Mohammad H.; Zavareh, Alireza; Miandehi, Nargess; Durand, Benoit; Sabatier, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Background: Geographic distribution of West Nile virus (WNV) is heterogeneous in Iran by a high circulation in the southern-western areas. The objective of our study was to determine environmental and climatic factors associated with the risk of WNV equine seropositivity in Iran. Methods: Serological data were obtained from a serosurvey conducted in equine population in 260 districts in Iran. The climate and environmental parameters included in the models were distance to the nearest wetland area, type of stable, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), annual mean temperature, humidity and precipitation. Results: The important risk factors included annual mean temperature, distance to wetlands, local and seasonal NDVI differences. The effect of local NDVI differences in spring was particularly notable. This was a normalized difference of average NDVI between two areas: a 5 km radius area centered on the stable and the 5–10 km surrounding area. Conclusion: The model indicated that local NDVI’s contrast during spring is a major risk factor of the transmission of West-Nile virus in Iran. This so-called oasis effect consistent with the seasonal production of vegetation in spring, and is associated to the attractiveness of the local NDVI environment for WNV vectors and hosts. PMID:27308290

  10. Prevalence of West Nile virus in migratory birds during spring and fall migration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dusek, R.J.; McLean, R.G.; Kramer, L.D.; Ubico, S.R.; Dupuis, A.P.; Ebel, G.D.; Guptill, S.C.

    2009-01-01

    To investigate the role of migratory birds in the dissemination of West Nile virus (WNV), we measured the prevalence of infectious WNV and specific WNV neutralizing antibodies in birds, principally Passeriformes, during spring and fall migrations in the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways from 2001-2003. Blood samples were obtained from 13,403 birds, representing 133 species. Specific WNV neutralizing antibody was detected in 254 resident and migratory birds, representing 39 species, and was most commonly detected in northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) (9.8%, N = 762) and gray catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) (3.2%,N = 3188). West Nile virus viremias were detected in 19 birds, including 8 gray catbirds, and only during the fall migratory period. These results provide additional evidence that migratory birds may have been a principal agent for the spread of WNV in North America and provide data on the occurrence of WNV in a variety of bird species. Copyright ?? 2009 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  11. Flaviviruses, an expanding threat in public health: focus on dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis virus.

    PubMed

    Daep, Carlo Amorin; Muñoz-Jordán, Jorge L; Eugenin, Eliseo Alberto

    2014-12-01

    The flaviviruses dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis represent three major mosquito-borne viruses worldwide. These pathogens impact the lives of millions of individuals and potentially could affect non-endemic areas already colonized by mosquito vectors. Unintentional transport of infected vectors (Aedes and Culex spp.), traveling within endemic areas, rapid adaptation of the insects into new geographic locations, climate change, and lack of medical surveillance have greatly contributed to the increase in flaviviral infections worldwide. The mechanisms by which flaviviruses alter the immune and the central nervous system have only recently been examined despite the alarming number of infections, related deaths, and increasing global distribution. In this review, we will discuss the expansion of the geographic areas affected by flaviviruses, the potential threats to previously unaffected countries, the mechanisms of pathogenesis, and the potential therapeutic interventions to limit the devastating consequences of these viruses.

  12. Fever of Unknown Origin in a Patient with Confirmed West Nile Virus Meningoencephalitis

    PubMed Central

    Sabre, Alexander; Farricielli, Laurie

    2014-01-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV), an RNA arbovirus and member of the Japanese encephalitis virus antigenic complex, causes a wide range of clinical symptoms, from asymptomatic to encephalitis and meningitis. Nearly all human infections of WNV are due to mosquito bites with birds being the primary amplifying hosts. Advanced age is the most important risk factor for neurological disease leading most often to poor prognosis in those afflicted. We report a case of WNV meningoencephalitis in a 93-year-old Caucasian male who presented with fever of unknown origin (FUO) and nuchal rigidity that rapidly decompensated within 24 h to a persistent altered mental state during inpatient stay. The patient's ELISA antibody titers confirmed pathogenesis of disease by WNV; he given supportive measures and advanced to an excellent recovery. In regard to the approach of FUO, it is important to remain impartial yet insightful to all elements when determining pathogenesis in atypical presentation. PMID:25580318

  13. On the potential roles of ticks and migrating birds in the ecology of West Nile virus

    PubMed Central

    Hagman, Karl; Barboutis, Christos; Ehrenborg, Christian; Fransson, Thord; Jaenson, Thomas G. T.; Lindgren, Per-Eric; Lundkvist, Åke; Nyström, Fredrik; Waldenström, Jonas; Salaneck, Erik

    2014-01-01

    Background Mosquitoes are the primary vectors of West Nile virus (WNV). Ticks have, however, been suggested to be potential reservoirs of WNV. In order to investigate their role in the spread of the virus, ticks, which had been collected from birds migrating northwards from Africa to Europe, were analyzed for the potential presence of WNV-RNA. Methods On the Mediterranean islands Capri and Antikythira a total of 14,824 birds were captured and investigated from which 747 ticks were collected. Results and conclusion Most of the identified ticks (93%) were nymphs and larvae of Hyalomma marginatum sensu lato, most of which were or appear to be Hyalomma rufipes. Of these ticks 729 were individually screened for WNV-RNA. None of the ticks was found to be WNV positive. Thus, there was no evidence that Hyalomma marginatum s.l. ticks play a role in the spread of WNV from Africa to Europe. PMID:24455105

  14. Risk factors for West Nile virus Infection and Disease in Populations and Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Montgomery, Ruth R.; Murray, Kristy O.

    2016-01-01

    Summary West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne enveloped positive-strand RNA virus that emerged in North America in 1999 in New York City. Over the past 15 years, WNV has become established throughout the USA and has spread into Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. CDC reports indicate >41,000 clinical cases, including more than 1,700 fatalities. An estimated 3 million people in the USA may have been infected to date. Infection with WNV is dependent on many factors including climate, mosquito habitats and immunologically-naïve bird populations. In addition, variations within individuals contribute to the risk of severe disease, in particular, advanced age, hypertension, immunosuppression and critical elements of the immune response. Recent advances in technology now allow detailed analysis of complex immune interactions relevant to disease susceptibility. PMID:25637260

  15. Experimental Infection of North American Birds with the New York 1999 Strain of West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Langevin, Stanley; Hinten, Steven; Nemeth, Nicole; Edwards, Eric; Hettler, Danielle; Davis, Brent; Bowen, Richard; Bunning, Michel

    2003-01-01

    To evaluate transmission dynamics, we exposed 25 bird species to West Nile virus (WNV) by infectious mosquito bite. We monitored viremia titers, clinical outcome, WNV shedding (cloacal and oral), seroconversion, virus persistence in organs, and susceptibility to oral and contact transmission. Passeriform and charadriiform birds were more reservoir competent (a derivation of viremia data) than other species tested. The five most competent species were passerines: Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata), Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), and House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). Death occurred in eight species. Cloacal shedding of WNV was observed in 17 of 24 species, and oral shedding in 12 of 14 species. We observed contact transmission among four species and oral in five species. Persistent WNV infections were found in tissues of 16 surviving birds. Our observations shed light on transmission ecology of WNV and will benefit surveillance and control programs. PMID:12643825

  16. Flaviviruses, an expanding threat in public health: focus on dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis virus.

    PubMed

    Daep, Carlo Amorin; Muñoz-Jordán, Jorge L; Eugenin, Eliseo Alberto

    2014-12-01

    The flaviviruses dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis represent three major mosquito-borne viruses worldwide. These pathogens impact the lives of millions of individuals and potentially could affect non-endemic areas already colonized by mosquito vectors. Unintentional transport of infected vectors (Aedes and Culex spp.), traveling within endemic areas, rapid adaptation of the insects into new geographic locations, climate change, and lack of medical surveillance have greatly contributed to the increase in flaviviral infections worldwide. The mechanisms by which flaviviruses alter the immune and the central nervous system have only recently been examined despite the alarming number of infections, related deaths, and increasing global distribution. In this review, we will discuss the expansion of the geographic areas affected by flaviviruses, the potential threats to previously unaffected countries, the mechanisms of pathogenesis, and the potential therapeutic interventions to limit the devastating consequences of these viruses. PMID:25287260

  17. Latest developments and challenges in the diagnosis of human West Nile virus infection.

    PubMed

    Barzon, Luisa; Pacenti, Monia; Ulbert, Sebastian; Palù, Giorgio

    2015-03-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus responsible for an increasing number of human outbreaks of neuroinvasive disease in Europe and in North America. Notwithstanding the improvements in the knowledge of virus epidemiology and clinical course of infection and the development of new laboratory tests, the diagnosis of WNV infection remains challenging and many cases still remain unrecognized. WNV genome diversity, transient viremia with low viral load and cross-reactivity with other flaviviruses of the antibodies induced by WNV infection are important hurdles that require the diagnosis to be performed by experienced laboratories. Herein, we present and discuss the novel findings on the molecular epidemiology and clinical features of WNV infection in humans with special focus on Europe, the performance of diagnostic tests and the novel methods that have been developed for the diagnosis of WNV infection. A view on how the field might evolve in the future is also presented.

  18. Genotype-specific variation in West Nile virus dispersal in California.

    PubMed

    Duggal, Nisha K; Reisen, William K; Fang, Ying; Newman, Ruchi M; Yang, Xiao; Ebel, Gregory D; Brault, Aaron C

    2015-11-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is an arbovirus that was first reported in North America in New York in 1999 and, by 2003, had spread more than 4000 km to California. However, variation in viral genetics associated with spread is not well understood. Herein, we report sequences for more than 100 WNV isolates made from mosquito pools that were collected from 2003 to 2011 as part of routine surveillance by the California Mosquito-borne Virus Surveillance System. We performed phylogeographic analyses and demonstrated that 5 independent introductions of WNV (1 WN02 genotype strain and 4 SW03 genotype strains) occurred in California. The SW03 genotype of WNV was constrained to the southwestern U.S. and had a more rapid rate of spread. In addition, geographic constraint of WNV strains within a single region for up to 6 years suggest viral maintenance has been driven by resident, rather than migratory, birds and overwintering in mosquitoes.

  19. Virulence and Evolution of West Nile Virus, Australia, 1960–2012

    PubMed Central

    Prow, Natalie A.; Edmonds, Judith H.; Williams, David T.; Setoh, Yin X.; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle; Suen, Willy W.; Hobson-Peters, Jody; van den Hurk, Andrew F.; Pyke, Alyssa T.; Hall-Mendelin, Sonja; Northill, Judith A.; Johansen, Cheryl A.; Warrilow, David; Wang, Jianning; Kirkland, Peter D.; Doggett, Stephen; Andrade, Christy C.; Brault, Aaron C.

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, West Nile virus (WNV) causes encephalitis in humans, horses, and birds. The Kunjin strain of WNV (WNVKUN) is endemic to northern Australia, but infections are usually asymptomatic. In 2011, an unprecedented outbreak of equine encephalitis occurred in southeastern Australia; most of the ≈900 reported cases were attributed to a newly emerged WNVKUN strain. To investigate the origins of this virus, we performed genetic analysis and in vitro and in vivo studies of 13 WNVKUN isolates collected from different regions of Australia during 1960–2012. Although no disease was recorded for 1984, 2000, or 2012, isolates collected during those years (from Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales, respectively) exhibited levels of virulence in mice similar to that of the 2011 outbreak strain. Thus, virulent strains of WNVKUN have circulated in Australia for >30 years, and the first extensive outbreak of equine disease in Australia probably resulted from a combination of specific ecologic and epidemiologic conditions. PMID:27433830

  20. Antibodies targeting linear determinants of the envelope protein protect mice against West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Ledizet, Michel; Kar, Kalipada; Foellmer, Harald G; Bonafé, Nathalie; Anthony, Karen G; Gould, L Hannah; Bushmich, Sandra L; Fikrig, Erol; Koski, Raymond A

    2007-12-15

    The flavivirus envelope (E) protein mediates cellular attachment and fusion with host cell membranes and is recognized by virus-neutralizing antibodies. We raised antibodies against a broad range of epitopes by immunizing a horse with recombinant West Nile virus (WNV) E protein. To define epitopes recognized by protective antibodies, we selected, by affinity chromatography, immunoglobulins against immobilized linear peptides derived from parts of the E protein. Immunoglobulins binding 9 different peptides from domains I, II, and III of the E protein neutralized WNV in vitro. This indicates that multiple protective epitopes can be found in the E protein. Immunoglobulins recognizing 3 peptides derived from domains I and II of E protein protected mice against a lethal challenge with WNV. These immunoglobulins recognized the E proteins of related flaviviruses, demonstrating that antibodies targeting specific E protein epitopes could be developed for prevention and treatment of multiple flavivirus infections. PMID:18190253

  1. Cell-intrinsic innate immune control of West Nile virus infection.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Michael S; Gale, Michael

    2012-10-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is an enveloped positive-stranded RNA virus that has emerged over the past decade in North America to cause epidemics of meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis in humans. WNV has broad species specificity, and replicates efficiently in many cell types, including those of the innate immune and central nervous systems. Recent studies have defined the pathogen recognition receptor (PRR) and signaling pathways by which WNV is detected, and several effector mechanisms that contribute to protective cell-intrinsic immunity. This review focuses on recent advances in identifying the host sensors that detect WNV, the adaptor molecules and signaling pathways that regulate the induction of interferon (IFN)-dependent defenses, and the proteins that limit WNV replication, spread, and disease pathogenesis.

  2. Immunological headgear: antiviral immune responses protect against neuroinvasive West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Klein, Robyn S; Diamond, Michael S

    2008-07-01

    With the emergence of epidemic strains of West Nile virus (WNV) in North America, there has been a surge in new research and knowledge regarding the peripheral immune responses that prevent neuroinvasion, the routes of WNV entry into the central nervous system (CNS) and the critical CNS immune responses that promote viral clearance and recovery at this anatomic site. WNV infection induces archetypal antiviral immune responses that, in most cases, lead to elimination of the virus with relatively few immunopathological consequences. Here, we present our current understanding of the innate and adaptive immune responses that limit dissemination to the CNS from WNV infection and the antiviral immune responses within the CNS that intervene when they fail.

  3. West Nile virus infection in mosquitoes, birds, horses, and humans, Staten Island, New York, 2000.

    PubMed Central

    Kulasekera, V. L.; Kramer, L.; Nasci, R. S.; Mostashari, F.; Cherry, B.; Trock, S. C.; Glaser, C.; Miller, J. R.

    2001-01-01

    West Nile (WN) virus transmission in the United States during 2000 was most intense on Staten Island, New York, where 10 neurologic illnesses among humans and 2 among horses occurred. WN virus was isolated from Aedes vexans, Culex pipiens, Cx. salinarius, Ochlerotatus triseriatus, and Psorophora ferox, and WN viral RNA was detected in Anopheles punctipennis. An elevated weekly minimum infection rate (MIR) for Cx. pipiens and increased dead bird density were present for 2 weeks before the first human illness occurred. Increasing mosquito MIRs and dead bird densities in an area may be indicators of an increasing risk for human infections. A transmission model is proposed involving Cx. pipiens and Cx. restuans as the primary enzootic and epizootic vectors among birds, Cx. salinarius as the primary bridge vector for humans, and Aedes/Ochlerotatus spp. as bridge vectors for equine infection. PMID:11589172

  4. Vector competence of Culex tarsalis from Orange County, California, for West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Turell, Michael J; O'Guinn, Monica L; Dohm, David J; Webb, James P; Sardelis, Michael R

    2002-01-01

    To evaluate the vector competence of Culex tarsalis Coquillett for West Nile virus (WN), females reared from larvae collected in Huntington Beach, Orange County, CA, were fed on 2-3-day-old chickens previously inoculated with a New York strain (Crow 397-99) of WN. The Cx. tarsalis mosquitoes were efficient laboratory vectors of WN, with estimated transmission rates of 81% and 91% for mosquitoes that ingested 10(6.5) or 10(7.3) plaque-forming units of WN/mL of blood, respectively. Based on efficiency of viral transmission and the role of this species in the transmission of the closely related St. Louis encephalitis virus, Cx. tarsalis should be considered a potentially important vector of WN in the western United States.

  5. Evidence for Co-evolution of West Nile Virus and House Sparrows in North America

    PubMed Central

    Duggal, Nisha K.; Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Bowen, Richard A.; Wheeler, Sarah S.; Reisen, William K.; Felix, Todd A.; Mann, Brian R.; Romo, Hannah; Swetnam, Daniele M.; Barrett, Alan D. T.; Brault, Aaron C.

    2014-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has been maintained in North America in enzootic cycles between mosquitoes and birds since it was first described in North America in 1999. House sparrows (HOSPs; Passer domesticus) are a highly competent host for WNV that have contributed to the rapid spread of WNV across the U.S.; however, their competence has been evaluated primarily using an early WNV strain (NY99) that is no longer circulating. Herein, we report that the competence of wild HOSPs for the NY99 strain has decreased significantly over time, suggesting that HOSPs may have developed resistance to this early WNV strain. Moreover, recently isolated WNV strains generate higher peak viremias and mortality in contemporary HOSPs compared to NY99. These data indicate that opposing selective pressures in both the virus and avian host have resulted in a net increase in the level of host competence of North American HOSPs for currently circulating WNV strains. PMID:25357248

  6. Immunogenicity of West Nile virus infectious DNA and its noninfectious derivatives

    SciTech Connect

    Seregin, Alexey; Nistler, Ryan; Borisevich, Victoria; Yamshchikov, Galina; Chaporgina, Elena; Kwok, Chun Wai; Yamshchikov, Vladimir . E-mail: yaximik@ku.edu

    2006-12-20

    The exceptionally high virulence of the West Nile NY99 strain makes its suitability in the development of a live WN vaccine uncertain. The aim of this study is to investigate the immunogenicity of noninfectious virus derivatives carrying pseudolethal mutations, which preclude virion formation without affecting preceding steps of the viral infectious cycle. When administered using DNA immunization, such constructs initiate an infectious cycle but cannot lead to a viremia. While the magnitude of the immune response to a noninfectious replication-competent construct was lower than that of virus or infectious DNA, its overall quality and the protective effect were similar. In contrast, a nonreplicating construct of similar length induced only a marginally detectable immune response in the dose range used. Thus, replication-competent noninfectious constructs derived from infectious DNA may offer an advantageous combination of the safety of noninfectious formulations with the quality of the immune response characteristic of infectious vaccines.

  7. Flaviviruses, an expanding threat in public health: focus on Dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis virus

    PubMed Central

    Daep, Carlo Amorin; Muñoz-Jordán, Jorge L.; Eugenin, Eliseo Alberto

    2014-01-01

    The flaviviruses Dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis represent three major mosquito-borne viruses worldwide. These pathogens impact the lives of millions of individuals and potentially could affect non-endemic areas already colonized by mosquito vectors. Unintentional transport of infected vectors (Aedes and Culex sp), traveling within endemic areas, rapid adaptation of the insects into new geographic locations, climate change, and lack of medical surveillance have greatly contributed to the increase in flaviviral infections worldwide. The mechanisms by which flaviviruses alter the immune and the central nervous system have only recently been examined despite the alarming number of infections, related deaths, and increasing global distribution. In this review, we will discuss the expansion of the geographic areas affected by flaviviruses, the potential threats to previously unaffected countries, the mechanisms of pathogenesis, and the potential therapeutic interventions to limit the devastating consequences of these viruses. PMID:25287260

  8. Seroprevalence of West Nile Virus in feral horses on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franson, J. Christian; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Collins, Gail H.; Dusek, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    We screened 1,397 feral horses (Equus caballus) on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States, for IgM and IgG against flavivirus during 2004–2006, 2008, and 2009. Positive serum samples were tested for neutralizing antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). One animal was positive for antibody against WNV in 2004, but all others tested in 2004–2006 were negative. In 2008 and 2009, we found evidence of increasing seropositive horses with age, whereas seroprevalence of WNV decreased from 19% in 2008 to 7.2% in 2009. No horses were positive for antibody against SLEV. Being unvaccinated, feral horses can be useful for WNV surveillance.

  9. Enhanced West Nile virus surveillance in a dengue-endemic area--Puerto Rico, 2007.

    PubMed

    Torres-Aponte, Jomil M; Luce, Richard R; Hunsperger, Elizabeth; Muñoz-Jordan, Jorge L; Beltrán, Manuela; Vergne, Edgardo; Argüello, D Fermín; García, Enid J; Sun, Wellington; Tomashek, Kay M

    2013-05-01

    In June of 2007, West Nile virus (WNV) was detected in sentinel chickens and blood donors in Puerto Rico, where dengue virus (DENV) is hyperendemic. Enhanced human surveillance for acute febrile illness (AFI) began in eastern Puerto Rico on July 1, 2007. Healthcare providers submitted specimens from AFI cases for WNV and DENV virology and serology testing. Over 6 months, 385 specimens were received from 282 cases; 115 (41%) specimens were DENV laboratory-positive, 86 (31%) specimens were laboratory-indeterminate, and 32 (11%) specimens were laboratory-negative for WNV and DENV. One WNV infection was detected by anti-WNV immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody and confirmed by a plaque reduction neutralization test. DENV and WNV infections could not be differentiated in 27 cases (10%). During a period of active WNV transmission, enhanced human surveillance identified one case of symptomatic WNV infection. Improved diagnostic methods are needed to allow differentiation of WNV and DENV in dengue-endemic regions.

  10. West Nile Virus Surveillance in 2013 via Mosquito Screening in Northern Italy and the Influence of Weather on Virus Circulation.

    PubMed

    Calzolari, Mattia; Pautasso, Alessandra; Montarsi, Fabrizio; Albieri, Alessandro; Bellini, Romeo; Bonilauri, Paolo; Defilippo, Francesco; Lelli, Davide; Moreno, Ana; Chiari, Mario; Tamba, Marco; Zanoni, Mariagrazia; Varisco, Giorgio; Bertolini, Silvia; Modesto, Paola; Radaelli, Maria Cristina; Iulini, Barbara; Prearo, Marino; Ravagnan, Silvia; Cazzin, Stefania; Mulatti, Paolo; Monne, Isabella; Bonfanti, Lebana; Marangon, Stefano; Goffredo, Maria; Savini, Giovanni; Martini, Simone; Mosca, Andrea; Farioli, Marco; Gemma Brenzoni, Laura; Palei, Manlio; Russo, Francesca; Natalini, Silvano; Angelini, Paola; Casalone, Cristina; Dottori, Michele; Capelli, Gioia

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a recently re-emerged health problem in Europe. In Italy, an increasing number of outbreaks of West Nile disease, with occurrences of human cases, have been reported since 2008. This is particularly true in northern Italy, where entomological surveillance systems have been implemented at a regional level. The aim of this study was to use, for the first time, all the entomological data collected in the five regions undergoing surveillance for WNV in northern Italy to characterize the viral circulation (at a spatial and temporal scale), identify potential mosquito vectors, and specify relationships between virus circulation and meteorological conditions. In 2013, 286 sites covering the entire Pianura Padana area were monitored. A total of 757,461 mosquitoes were sampled. Of these, 562,079 were tested by real-time PCR in 9,268 pools, of which 180 (1.9%) were positive for WNV. The largest part of the detected WNV sequences belonged to lineage II, demonstrating that, unlike those in the past, the 2013 outbreak was mainly sustained by this WNV lineage. This surveillance also detected the Usutu virus, a WNV-related flavivirus, in 241 (2.6%) pools. The WNV surveillance systems precisely identified the area affected by the virus and detected the viral circulation approximately two weeks before the occurrence of onset of human cases. Ninety percent of the sampled mosquitoes were Culex pipiens, and 178/180 WNV-positive pools were composed of only this species, suggesting this mosquito is the main WNV vector in northern Italy. A significantly higher abundance of the vector was recorded in the WNV circulation area, which was characterized by warmer and less rainy conditions and greater evapotranspiration compared to the rest of the Pianura Padana, suggesting that areas exposed to these conditions are more suitable for WNV circulation. This observation highlights warmer and less rainy conditions as factors able to enhance WNV circulation and cause virus

  11. West Nile Virus Surveillance in 2013 via Mosquito Screening in Northern Italy and the Influence of Weather on Virus Circulation

    PubMed Central

    Calzolari, Mattia; Pautasso, Alessandra; Montarsi, Fabrizio; Albieri, Alessandro; Bellini, Romeo; Bonilauri, Paolo; Defilippo, Francesco; Lelli, Davide; Moreno, Ana; Chiari, Mario; Tamba, Marco; Zanoni, Mariagrazia; Varisco, Giorgio; Bertolini, Silvia; Modesto, Paola; Radaelli, Maria Cristina; Iulini, Barbara; Prearo, Marino; Ravagnan, Silvia; Cazzin, Stefania; Mulatti, Paolo; Monne, Isabella; Bonfanti, Lebana; Marangon, Stefano; Goffredo, Maria; Savini, Giovanni; Martini, Simone; Mosca, Andrea; Farioli, Marco; Gemma Brenzoni, Laura; Palei, Manlio; Russo, Francesca; Natalini, Silvano; Angelini, Paola; Casalone, Cristina; Dottori, Michele; Capelli, Gioia

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a recently re-emerged health problem in Europe. In Italy, an increasing number of outbreaks of West Nile disease, with occurrences of human cases, have been reported since 2008. This is particularly true in northern Italy, where entomological surveillance systems have been implemented at a regional level. The aim of this study was to use, for the first time, all the entomological data collected in the five regions undergoing surveillance for WNV in northern Italy to characterize the viral circulation (at a spatial and temporal scale), identify potential mosquito vectors, and specify relationships between virus circulation and meteorological conditions. In 2013, 286 sites covering the entire Pianura Padana area were monitored. A total of 757,461 mosquitoes were sampled. Of these, 562,079 were tested by real-time PCR in 9,268 pools, of which 180 (1.9%) were positive for WNV. The largest part of the detected WNV sequences belonged to lineage II, demonstrating that, unlike those in the past, the 2013 outbreak was mainly sustained by this WNV lineage. This surveillance also detected the Usutu virus, a WNV-related flavivirus, in 241 (2.6%) pools. The WNV surveillance systems precisely identified the area affected by the virus and detected the viral circulation approximately two weeks before the occurrence of onset of human cases. Ninety percent of the sampled mosquitoes were Culex pipiens, and 178/180 WNV-positive pools were composed of only this species, suggesting this mosquito is the main WNV vector in northern Italy. A significantly higher abundance of the vector was recorded in the WNV circulation area, which was characterized by warmer and less rainy conditions and greater evapotranspiration compared to the rest of the Pianura Padana, suggesting that areas exposed to these conditions are more suitable for WNV circulation. This observation highlights warmer and less rainy conditions as factors able to enhance WNV circulation and cause virus

  12. West Nile virus infection incidence based on donated blood samples and neuroinvasive disease reports, Northern Texas, USA, 2012.

    PubMed

    Cervantes, Diana T; Chen, Shande; Sutor, Laurie J; Stonecipher, Shelley; Janoski, Nicolette; Wright, David J; Busch, Michael P

    2015-04-01

    During the 2012 outbreak of West Nile virus in the United States, approximately one third of the cases were in Texas. Of those, about half occurred in northern Texas. Models based on infected blood donors and persons with neuroinvasive disease showed, respectively, that ≈0.72% and 1.98% of persons in northern Texas became infected.

  13. Virologic and serologic investigations of West Nile virus circulation in Belarus.

    PubMed

    Samoilova, T I; Votiakov, V I; Titov, L P

    2003-06-01

    In 1985-1994 virologic and serologic investigations were performed for the purposes of West Nile (WN) virus circulation establishment on the territory of Belarus. Blood-sucking mosquitoes, midges, wild small mammals, birds as well as blood and cerebrospinal samples from patients with nondifferentiated fevers and from healthy individuals were under studies. Four virus strains were isolated in Belarus for the first time, namely: 1--from birds (48-WN Tremlya); 2--from Aedes mosquitoes (319 and 2438); 1--from a febrile patient (Win). Their antigenic and biological properties were examined in cell cultures and laboratory animals. The isolates turned to be identical with each other and closely related to reference Egypt strain Eg 101, that is a topotype for the African virus group. One more WN virus strain (8891) was isolated from Anopheles mosquitoes in 1999. Specific antibodies to the virus in human blood sera were identified by immunological and serologic assays in 1.7% of Belarusian population. In Gomel and Brest Regions the percentage of seropositive individuals reached 5.8 and 15.4, respectively. WN virus antibodies prevailed in 0.6-5.8% of cattle, in 2.9-6.8% of wild small mammals and in 6.5-16.7% of birds. Thus, the conclusion was made on the existence of favourable conditions for the virus spread throughout the whole country and in the south in particular. Blood-sucking mosquitoes and birds are principle vectors in WN virus circulation in Belarus. 16 serologically confirmed cases of WN encephalitis were revealed in patients with fever of obscure etiology. In the view of the given data, reports on the reemergence of the pathogen in different countries and the tendency in global warming WN virus monitoring should become a subject of concern for Belarusian public medical care services.

  14. Programmed Ribosomal Frameshift Alters Expression of West Nile Virus Genes and Facilitates Virus Replication in Birds and Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Du, Fangyao; Owens, Nick; Bosco-Lauth, Angela M.; Nagasaki, Tomoko; Rudd, Stephen; Brault, Aaron C.; Bowen, Richard A.; Hall, Roy A.; van den Hurk, Andrew F.; Khromykh, Alexander A.

    2014-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a human pathogen of significant medical importance with close to 40,000 cases of encephalitis and more than 1,600 deaths reported in the US alone since its first emergence in New York in 1999. Previous studies identified a motif in the beginning of non-structural gene NS2A of encephalitic flaviviruses including WNV which induces programmed −1 ribosomal frameshift (PRF) resulting in production of an additional NS protein NS1′. We have previously demonstrated that mutant WNV with abolished PRF was attenuated in mice. Here we have extended our previous observations by showing that PRF does not appear to have a significant role in virus replication, virion formation, and viral spread in several cell lines in vitro. However, we have also shown that PRF induces an over production of structural proteins over non-structural proteins in virus-infected cells and that mutation abolishing PRF is present in ∼11% of the wild type virus population. In vivo experiments in house sparrows using wild type and PRF mutant of New York 99 strain of WNV viruses showed some attenuation for the PRF mutant virus. Moreover, PRF mutant of Kunjin strain of WNV showed significant decrease compared to wild type virus infection in dissemination of the virus from the midgut through the haemocoel, and ultimately the capacity of infected mosquitoes to transmit virus. Thus our results demonstrate an important role for PRF in regulating expression of viral genes and consequently virus replication in avian and mosquito hosts. PMID:25375107

  15. Production of immunogenic West Nile virus-like particles using a herpes simplex virus 1 recombinant vector.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Travis J; Diaz, Fernando; Colgrove, Robert C; Bernard, Kristen A; DeLuca, Neal A; Whelan, Sean P J; Knipe, David M

    2016-09-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus that swept rapidly across North America in 1999, declined in prevalence, and then resurged in 2012. To date, no vaccine is available to prevent infection in the human population. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) replication-defective vaccine vectors induce a durable immunity characterized by strong antibody and CD8(+) T cell responses even in HSV-immune animals. In this study, a WNV protein expression cassette was optimized for virus-like particle (VLP) production in transfection studies, and the cassette was recombined into an HSV-1 d106-WNV virus vector, which produced extracellular VLPs, as confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. Immunization of mice with the d106-WNV recombinant vector elicited a specific anti-WNV IgG response. This study highlights the flavivirus coding sequences needed for efficient assembly of virus-like particles. This information will facilitate generation of additional vaccine vectors against other flaviviruses including the recently emerged Zika virus. PMID:27336950

  16. Generating West Nile Virus from an Infectious Clone.

    PubMed

    Vandergaast, Rianna; Fredericksen, Brenda L

    2016-01-01

    WNV infectious clones are valuable tools for elucidating WNV biology. Nevertheless, relatively few infectious WNV clones have been generated because their construction is hampered by the instability of flaviviral genomes. More recently, advances in cloning techniques as well as the development of several two-plasmid WNV infectious clone systems have facilitated the generation of WNV infectious clones. Here we described a protocol for recovering WNV from a two-plasmid system. In this approach, large quantities of these constructs are digested with restriction enzymes to produce complementary restriction sites at the 3' end of the upstream fragment and the 5' end of the downstream fragment. These fragments are then annealed to produce linear template for in vitro transcription to synthesize infectious RNA. The resulting RNA is transfected into cells and after several days WNV is recovered in the culture supernatant. This method can be used to generate virus from infectious clones encoding high- and low-pathogenicity strains of WNV, as well as chimeric virues.

  17. An infectious West Nile virus that expresses a GFP reporter gene.

    PubMed

    Pierson, Theodore C; Diamond, Michael S; Ahmed, Asim A; Valentine, Laura E; Davis, Carl W; Samuel, Melanie A; Hanna, Sheri L; Puffer, Bridget A; Doms, Robert W

    2005-03-30

    West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne, neurotropic flavivirus that causes encephalitis in humans and animals. Since being introduced into the Western hemisphere in 1999, WNV has spread rapidly across North America, identifying this virus as an important emerging pathogen. In this study, we developed a DNA-launched infectious molecular clone of WNV that encodes a GFP reporter gene. Transfection of cells with the plasmid encoding this recombinant virus (pWNII-GFP) resulted in the production of infectious WNV capable of expressing GFP at high levels shortly after infection of a variety of cell types, including primary neurons and dendritic cells. Infection of cells with WNII-GFP virus was productive, and could be inhibited with both monoclonal antibodies and interferon-beta, highlighting the potential of this system in the development and characterization of novel inhibitors and therapeutics for WNV infection. As expected, insertion of the reporter gene into the viral genome was associated with a reduced rate of viral replication, providing the selective pressure for the development of variants that no longer encoded the full-length reporter gene cassette. We anticipate this DNA-based, infectious WNV reporter virus will allow novel approaches for the study of WNV infection and its inhibition both in vitro and in vivo.

  18. Quadraplex qRT-PCR assay for the simultaneous detection of Eastern equine encephalitis virus and West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Zink, Steven D; Jones, Susan A; Maffei, Joseph G; Kramer, Laura D

    2013-10-01

    In order to increase testing throughput and reduce cost, we developed a multiplex real-time assay that identifies both Eastern equine encephalitis virus and West Nile virus. The assay allows for the screening for the presence of both the nonstructural and envelope genes of both viruses simultaneously allowing for confirmatory testing to be done in a single assay. We utilized newly designed primers and probes, each labeled with a unique fluorescent label allowing for differentiation using an ABI 7500 real-time PCR machine. The use of Quanta Biosciences qScript XLT One-Step RT-qPCR® Toughmix allowed for a quadraplex assay without loss of sensitivity when compared to the previously run singleplex reaction as seen with viral RNA PFU control dilution series. There was no cross reactivity between the viruses within the reaction, and upon utilization of the assay during surveillance, there was no cross reactivity with other historically encountered arthropod-borne viruses. The results from the quantitative Reverse Transcriptase - Polymerase Chain Reaction were comparable to those achieved by cell culture which was performed on a subset of the field mosquito pools screened during the 2012 surveillance season. The multiplex assay resulted in savings in both time and resources for the lab and faster turn-around of results.

  19. Remote sensing of climatic anomalies and West Nile virus incidence in the northern Great Plains of the United States.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Ting-Wu; Wimberly, Michael C

    2012-01-01

    The northern Great Plains (NGP) of the United States has been a hotspot of West Nile virus (WNV) incidence since 2002. Mosquito ecology and the transmission of vector-borne disease are influenced by multiple environmental factors, and climatic variability is an important driver of inter-annual variation in WNV transmission risk. This study applied multiple environmental predictors including land surface temperature (LST), the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and actual evapotranspiration (ETa) derived from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products to establish prediction models for WNV risk in the NGP. These environmental metrics are sensitive to seasonal and inter-annual fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, and are hypothesized to influence mosquito population dynamics and WNV transmission. Non-linear generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to evaluate the influences of deviations of cumulative LST, NDVI, and ETa on inter-annual variations of WNV incidence from 2004-2010. The models were sensitive to the timing of spring green up (measured with NDVI), temperature variability in early spring and summer (measured with LST), and moisture availability from late spring through early summer (measured with ETa), highlighting seasonal changes in the influences of climatic fluctuations on WNV transmission. Predictions based on these variables indicated a low WNV risk across the NGP in 2011, which is concordant with the low case reports in this year. Environmental monitoring using remote-sensed data can contribute to surveillance of WNV risk and prediction of future WNV outbreaks in space and time.

  20. Remote sensing of climatic anomalies and West Nile virus incidence in the northern Great Plains of the United States.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Ting-Wu; Wimberly, Michael C

    2012-01-01

    The northern Great Plains (NGP) of the United States has been a hotspot of West Nile virus (WNV) incidence since 2002. Mosquito ecology and the transmission of vector-borne disease are influenced by multiple environmental factors, and climatic variability is an important driver of inter-annual variation in WNV transmission risk. This study applied multiple environmental predictors including land surface temperature (LST), the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and actual evapotranspiration (ETa) derived from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products to establish prediction models for WNV risk in the NGP. These environmental metrics are sensitive to seasonal and inter-annual fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, and are hypothesized to influence mosquito population dynamics and WNV transmission. Non-linear generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to evaluate the influences of deviations of cumulative LST, NDVI, and ETa on inter-annual variations of WNV incidence from 2004-2010. The models were sensitive to the timing of spring green up (measured with NDVI), temperature variability in early spring and summer (measured with LST), and moisture availability from late spring through early summer (measured with ETa), highlighting seasonal changes in the influences of climatic fluctuations on WNV transmission. Predictions based on these variables indicated a low WNV risk across the NGP in 2011, which is concordant with the low case reports in this year. Environmental monitoring using remote-sensed data can contribute to surveillance of WNV risk and prediction of future WNV outbreaks in space and time. PMID:23071656

  1. Landscape epidemiology and machine learning: A geospatial approach to modeling West Nile virus risk in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Sean Gregory

    The complex interactions between human health and the physical landscape and environment have been recognized, if not fully understood, since the ancient Greeks. Landscape epidemiology, sometimes called spatial epidemiology, is a sub-discipline of medical geography that uses environmental conditions as explanatory variables in the study of disease or other health phenomena. This theory suggests that pathogenic organisms (whether germs or larger vector and host species) are subject to environmental conditions that can be observed on the landscape, and by identifying where such organisms are likely to exist, areas at greatest risk of the disease can be derived. Machine learning is a sub-discipline of artificial intelligence that can be used to create predictive models from large and complex datasets. West Nile virus (WNV) is a relatively new infectious disease in the United States, and has a fairly well-understood transmission cycle that is believed to be highly dependent on environmental conditions. This study takes a geospatial approach to the study of WNV risk, using both landscape epidemiology and machine learning techniques. A combination of remotely sensed and in situ variables are used to predict WNV incidence with a correlation coefficient as high as 0.86. A novel method of mitigating the small numbers problem is also tested and ultimately discarded. Finally a consistent spatial pattern of model errors is identified, indicating the chosen variables are capable of predicting WNV disease risk across most of the United States, but are inadequate in the northern Great Plains region of the US.

  2. Microarray hybridization for assessment of the genetic stability of chimeric West Nile/dengue 4 virus.

    PubMed

    Laassri, Majid; Bidzhieva, Bella; Speicher, James; Pletnev, Alexander G; Chumakov, Konstantin

    2011-05-01

    Genetic stability is an important characteristic of live viral vaccines because an accumulation of mutants can cause reversion to a virulent phenotype as well as a loss of immunogenic properties. This study was aimed at evaluating the genetic stability of a live attenuated West Nile (WN) virus vaccine candidate that was generated by replacing the pre-membrane and envelope protein genes of dengue 4 virus with those from WN. Chimeric virus was serially propagated in Vero, SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma and HeLa cells and screened for point mutations using hybridization with microarrays of overlapping oligonucleotide probes covering the entire genome. The analysis revealed several spontaneous mutations that led to amino acid changes, most of which were located in the envelope (E) and non-structural NS4A, NS4B, and NS5 proteins. Viruses passaged in Vero and SH-SY5Y cells shared two common mutations: G(2337) C (Met(457) Ile) in the E gene and A(6751) G (Lys(125) Arg) in the NS4A gene. Quantitative assessment of the contents of these mutants in viral stocks indicated that they accumulated independently with different kinetics during propagation in cell cultures. Mutant viruses grew better in Vero cells compared to the parental virus, suggesting that they have a higher fitness. When tested in newborn mice, the cell culture-passaged viruses did not exhibit increased neurovirulence. The approach described in this article could be useful for monitoring the molecular consistency and quality control of vaccine strains. PMID:21360544

  3. West Nile Virus Antibodies in Permanent Resident and Overwintering Migrant Birds in South-Central Kansas

    PubMed Central

    Shelite, Thomas R.; Rogers, Christopher M.; Litzner, Brandon R.; Johnson, R. Roy

    2008-01-01

    Abstract We conducted serological studies, using epitope-blocking ELISAs directed at West Nile virus (WNV) and flavivirus antibodies, of wild birds in south-central Kansas, the first for this state, in the winters of 2003–04 through 2005–06. Overwintering migratory species (primarily the American tree sparrow and dark-eyed junco) consistently showed significantly lower seropositivity than permanent residents (primarily the northern cardinal). The cardinal showed annual variation in seropositivity between winters. Of 35 birds that were serial sampled within a single winter, one cardinal may have seroconverted between late December and mid-February, providing a preliminary suggestion of continued enzootic transmission, chronic infection, or bird-bird transfer as overwintering mechanisms. Breeding population size of the cardinal did not change after the introduction of WNV to Kansas. Of eighteen birds that were serial sampled between winters, none seroconverted. Among overwintering migrants, the Harris' Sparrow showed the highest seropositivity, possibly related to its migration route through the central Great Plains, an area of recent high WNV activity. The finding that permanent resident birds exhibit higher seropositivity than migrant birds suggests that resident birds contribute to the initiation of annual infection cycles, although this conclusion is speculative in the absence of data on viral titers and the length of viremia. Key Words: West Nile Virus—flavivirus—birds—epitope-blocking ELISA––winter. PMID:18471059

  4. Pathology and tissue tropism of natural West Nile virus infection in birds: a review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a globally distributed arthropod-borne flavivirus capable of infecting a wide variety of vertebrates, with birds as its natural reservoir. Although it had been considered a pathogen of little importance for birds, from the 1990’s, and especially after its introduction in the North American continent in 1999, thousands of birds have succumbed to West Nile infection. This review summarizes the pathogenesis and pathology of WNV infection in birds highlighting differences in lesion and antigen distribution and severity among bird orders and families. Despite significant species differences in susceptibility to infection, WNV associated lesions and viral antigen are present in the majority of organs of infected birds. The non-progressive, acute or more prolonged course of the disease accounts for part of the differences in lesion and viral antigen distribution and lesion severity. Most likely a combination of host variables and environmental factors in addition to the intrinsic virulence and pathogenicity of the infecting WNV strain influence the pathogenesis of the infection. PMID:23731695

  5. Tregs control the development of symptomatic West Nile virus infection in humans and mice.

    PubMed

    Lanteri, Marion C; O'Brien, Katie M; Purtha, Whitney E; Cameron, Mark J; Lund, Jennifer M; Owen, Rachel E; Heitman, John W; Custer, Brian; Hirschkorn, Dale F; Tobler, Leslie H; Kiely, Nancy; Prince, Harry E; Ndhlovu, Lishomwa C; Nixon, Douglas F; Kamel, Hany T; Kelvin, David J; Busch, Michael P; Rudensky, Alexander Y; Diamond, Michael S; Norris, Philip J

    2009-11-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) causes asymptomatic infection in most humans, but for undefined reasons, approximately 20% of immunocompetent individuals develop West Nile fever, a potentially debilitating febrile illness, and approximately 1% develop neuroinvasive disease syndromes. Notably, since its emergence in 1999, WNV has become the leading cause of epidemic viral encephalitis in North America. We hypothesized that CD4+ Tregs might be differentially regulated in subjects with symptomatic compared with those with asymptomatic WNV infection. Here, we show that in 32 blood donors with acute WNV infection, Tregs expanded significantly in the 3 months after index (RNA+) donations in all subjects. Symptomatic donors exhibited lower Treg frequencies from 2 weeks through 1 year after index donation yet did not show differences in systemic T cell or generalized inflammatory responses. In parallel prospective experimental studies, symptomatic WNV-infected mice also developed lower Treg frequencies compared with asymptomatic mice at 2 weeks after infection. Moreover, Treg-deficient mice developed lethal WNV infection at a higher rate than controls. Together, these results suggest that higher levels of peripheral Tregs after infection protect against severe WNV disease in immunocompetent animals and humans.

  6. ANALYSIS OF BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC FACTORS INFLUENCING THE OCCURRENCE OF WEST NILE VIRUS INFECTION IN TUNISIA.

    PubMed

    Ben Hassine, Th; Calistri, P; Ippoliti, C; Conte, A; Danzetta, M L; Bruno, R; Lelli, R; Bejaoui, M; Hammami, S

    2014-01-01

    Eco-climatic conditions are often associated with the occurrence of West Nile Disease (WND) cases. Among the complex set of biotic and abiotic factors influencing the emergence and spread of this vector-borne disease, two main variables have been considered to have a great influence on the probability of West Nile Virus (WNV) introduction and circulation in Tunisia: the presence of susceptible bird populations and the existence of geographical areas where the environmental and climatic conditions are more favourable to mosquito multiplications. The aim of this study was to identify and classify the climatic and environmental variables possibly associated with the occurrence of WNVhuman cases in Tunisia. The following environmental and climatic variables have been considered: wetlands and humid areas, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), temperatures and elevation. A preliminary analysis for the characterization of main variables associated with areas with a history of WNV human cases in Tunisia between 1997 and 2011 has been made. This preliminary analysis clearly indicates the closeness to marshes ecosystem, where migratory bird populations are located, as an important risk factor for WNV infection. On the contrary the temperature absolute seems to be not a significant factor in Tunisian epidemiological situation. In relation to NDVI values, more complex considerations should be made.

  7. Identification of genetic variants associated with susceptibility to West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease.

    PubMed

    Long, D; Deng, X; Singh, P; Loeb, M; Lauring, A S; Seielstad, M

    2016-07-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) infection results in a diverse spectrum of outcomes, and host genetics are likely to influence susceptibility to neuroinvasive disease (West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND)). We performed whole-exome sequencing of 44 individuals with WNND and identified alleles associated with severe disease by variant filtration in cases, kernel association testing in cases and controls and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) imputation into a larger cohort of WNND cases and seropositive controls followed by genome-wide association analysis. Variant filtration prioritized genes based on the enrichment of otherwise rare variants, but did not unambiguously implicate variants shared by a majority of cases. Kernel association demonstrated enrichment for risk and protective alleles in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A and HLA-DQB1 loci that have well understood roles in antiviral immunity. Two loci, HERC5 and an intergenic region between CD83 and JARID2, were implicated by multiple imputed SNPs and exceeded genome-wide significance in a discovery cohort (n=862). SNPs at two additional loci, TFCP2L1 and CACNA1H, achieved genome-wide significance after association testing of directly genotyped and imputed SNPs in a discovery cohort (n=862) and a separate replication cohort (n=1387). The context of these loci suggests that immunoregulatory, ion channel and endothelial barrier functions may be important elements of the host response to WNV.

  8. Further circulation of West Nile and Usutu viruses in wild birds in Italy.

    PubMed

    Llopis, Isis Victoriano; Rossi, Luca; Di Gennaro, Annapia; Mosca, Andrea; Teodori, Liana; Tomassone, Laura; Grego, Elena; Monaco, Federica; Lorusso, Alessio; Savini, Giovanni

    2015-06-01

    Usutu virus (USUV) and West Nile virus (WNV) are emerging pathogens that can cause neurological disease in humans. From March 2012 to June 2013, a sero-survey on wild birds was carried out to investigate the circulation of both viruses in Northwest (NW) Italy. Samples belonging to 47 different bird species have been collected using a volunteer based network and a wildlife rehabilitation center. Four of 297 serum samples had neutralizing antibodies against USUV (P=1.34%, IC 95% 0.36-3.4), while 10 of 233 samples tested positive for WNV (P=4.29%, IC 95% 2.07-7.75). Neutralizing antibodies for WNV were significantly more prevalent (p<0.001) in trans-Saharan migrants (P=21%, IC 95% 9.55-37.3) than in resident and short-distance birds, but no migratory habit-related differences were found for USUV. Antibodies in resident bird species suggest that both viruses are circulating in NW Italy.

  9. West Nile virus replication requires fatty acid synthesis but is independent on phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate lipids.

    PubMed

    Martín-Acebes, Miguel A; Blázquez, Ana-Belén; Jiménez de Oya, Nereida; Escribano-Romero, Estela; Saiz, Juan-Carlos

    2011-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurovirulent mosquito-borne flavivirus, which main natural hosts are birds but it also infects equines and humans, among other mammals. As in the case of other plus-stranded RNA viruses, WNV replication is associated to intracellular membrane rearrangements. Based on results obtained with a variety of viruses, different cellular processes have been shown to play important roles on these membrane rearrangements for efficient viral replication. As these processes are related to lipid metabolism, fatty acid synthesis, as well as generation of a specific lipid microenvironment enriched in phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI4P), has been associated to it in other viral models. In this study, intracellular membrane rearrangements following infection with a highly neurovirulent strain of WNV were addressed by means of electron and confocal microscopy. Infection of WNV, and specifically viral RNA replication, were dependent on fatty acid synthesis, as revealed by the inhibitory effect of cerulenin and C75, two pharmacological inhibitors of fatty acid synthase, a key enzyme of this process. However, WNV infection did not induce redistribution of PI4P lipids, and PI4P did not localize at viral replication complex. Even more, WNV multiplication was not inhibited by the use of the phosphatidylinositol-4-kinase inhibitor PIK93, while infection by the enterovirus Coxsackievirus B5 was reduced. Similar features were found when infection by other flavivirus, the Usutu virus (USUV), was analyzed. These features of WNV replication could help to design specific antiviral approaches against WNV and other related flaviviruses.

  10. Infectious cDNA Clone of the Epidemic West Nile Virus from New York City

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Pei-Yong; Tilgner, Mark; Lo, Michael K.; Kent, Kim A.; Bernard, Kristen A.

    2002-01-01

    We report the first full-length infectious clone of the current epidemic, lineage I, strain of West Nile virus (WNV). The full-length cDNA was constructed from reverse transcription-PCR products of viral RNA from an isolate collected during the year 2000 outbreak in New York City. It was cloned into plasmid pBR322 under the control of a T7 promoter and stably amplified in Escherichia coli HB101. RNA transcribed from the full-length cDNA clone was highly infectious upon transfection into BHK-21 cells, resulting in progeny virus with titers of 1 × 109 to 5 × 109 PFU/ml. The cDNA clone was engineered to contain three silent nucleotide changes to create a StyI site (C to A and A to G at nucleotides [nt] 8859 and 8862, respectively) and to knock out an EcoRI site (A to G at nt 8880). These genetic markers were retained in the recovered progeny virus. Deletion of the 3′-terminal 199 nt of the cDNA transcript abolished the infectivity of the RNA. The plaque morphology, in vitro growth characteristics in mammalian and insect cells, and virulence in adult mice were indistinguishable for the parental and recombinant viruses. The stable infectious cDNA clone of the epidemic lineage I strain will provide a valuable experimental system to study the pathogenesis and replication of WNV. PMID:12021317

  11. Evaluation of vector competence for West Nile virus in Italian Stegomyia albopicta (=Aedes albopictus) mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Fortuna, C; Remoli, M E; Severini, F; Di Luca, M; Toma, L; Fois, F; Bucci, P; Boccolini, D; Romi, R; Ciufolini, M G

    2015-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a zoonotic arboviral pathogen transmitted by mosquitoes in a cycle that involves wild birds as reservoir hosts. The virus is responsible for outbreaks of viral encephalitis in humans and horses. In Europe, Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae) is considered to be the main vector of WNV, but other species such as Stegomyia albopicta (=Aedes albopictus) (Diptera: Culicidae) may also act as competent vectors of this virus. Since 2008 human cases of WNV disease have been reported in northeast Italy. In 2011, new areas of southern Italy became involved and a first outbreak of WNV lineage 1 occurred on the island of Sardinia. On the assumption that a potential involvement of St. albopicta in WNV transmission cannot be excluded, and in order to evaluate the competence of this species for the virus, an experimental infection of an St. albopicta laboratory colony, established from mosquitoes collected in Sardinia, was carried out. The results were compared with those obtained in a colony of the main vector Cx. pipiens. The study showed St. albopicta collected on Sardinia to be susceptible to WNV infection, which suggests this Italian mosquito species is able to act as a possible secondary vector, particularly in urban areas where the species reaches high levels of seasonal abundance.

  12. Overwintering of Uranotaenia Unguiculata Adult Females in Central Europe: A Possible Way of Persistence of the Putative New Lineage of West Nile Virus?

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Ivo; Šebesta, Oldřich; Straková, Petra; Betášová, Lenka; Blažejová, Hana; VEnclíková, Kristýna; Seidel, Bernhard; Tóth, Sandor; Hubálek, Zdeněk; Schaffner, Francis

    2015-12-01

    We report the overwintering of Uranotaenia unguiculata adult females in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria). This finding suggests a potential mode of winter persistence of putative novel lineage of West Nile virus in the temperate regions of Europe.

  13. Absence of humoral response in flamingos and red-tailed hawks to experimental vaccination with a killed West Nile virus vaccine.

    PubMed

    Nusbaum, Kenneth E; Wright, James C; Johnston, William B; Allison, Andrew B; Hilton, Clayton D; Staggs, Lydia A; Stallknecht, David E; Shelnutt, Joseph L

    2003-01-01

    Sixteen Chilean flamingos, Phoenicopterus chiles, and 10 red-tailed hawks, Buteo jamacensis, were vaccinated in the pectoral muscle with 0.2 ml of a commercially produced killed West Nile virus vaccine intended for use in horses. Half the birds of each species received a booster vaccination 3 weeks after the first injection. Three weeks after the booster vaccination, none of 13 birds surveyed had detectable antibody to West Nile virus.

  14. Prevalence and effects of West Nile virus on wild American kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations in Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dusek, Robert J.; Iko, William M.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Paul, Ellen

    2012-01-01

    To assess the potential impacts of West Nile virus (WNV) on a wild population of free-ranging raptors, we investigated the prevalence and effects of WNV on American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) breeding along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. We monitored kestrel nesting activity at 131 nest boxes from March to August 2004. Of 81 nest attempts, we obtained samples from 111 adults and 250 young. We did not detect WNV in sera; however, 97.3% (108/111) of adults tested positive for WNV neutralizing antibodies, which possibly represented passive transfer of maternal antibodies. Clutch size, hatching, and fledging success in our study did not differ from that previously reported for this species, suggesting that previous WNV exposure in kestrels did not have an effect on reproductive parameters measured in the breeding populations we studied in 2004.

  15. Concurrent West Nile virus infection in pneumococcal meningitis: clinical and MRI features.

    PubMed

    Szatmary, Gabriella; Leis, A Arturo

    2015-01-01

    We report the clinical and neuroimaging findings of an immunocompetent patient with concurrent pneumococcal and West Nile virus meningoencephalitis with relapsing clinical course despite a full course of antibiotic treatment. The patient developed acute oculomotor nerve palsy with pupillary involvement and bilateral hearing loss, and delayed right leg monoparesis. We speculate that coexisting bacterial and viral neuroinvasive infections contributed to the unusual clinical and imaging manifestations, and that overwhelming laboratory and clinical features of bacterial meningitis masked the typical features of CNS viral infection. Therefore, atypical presentations of bacterial meningitis should raise a high index of suspicion for coexisting infections, even in immunocompetent patients, and evolving neuroimaging findings may be helpful in substantiating clinical suspicion and guiding further management.

  16. Serological Survey of West Nile Virus in Domestic Animals from Northwest Senegal.

    PubMed

    Davoust, Bernard; Maquart, Marianne; Roqueplo, Cédric; Gravier, Patrick; Sambou, Masse; Mediannikov, Oleg; Leparc-Goffart, Isabelle

    2016-05-01

    In Africa, infection with West Nile virus (WNV) is frequent but almost always asymptomatic in humans and equids. The aim of this study was to identify whether any other domestic animal living in the same enzootic locality may be the sentinel of WNV circulation. In northwest Senegal, blood samples were collected from 283 adult domestic animals (136 sheep, 64 horses, 29 donkeys, 29 goats, 14 cattle, and 11 dogs), in three localities near Keur Momar Sarr. Each serum was tested for WNV immunoglobulin G using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The prevalence among donkeys, horses, dogs, goats, cattle, and sheep was 86.2%, 68.7%, 27.3%, 6.9%, 0%, and 0%, respectively. This survey confirms that equids and dogs could be the best sentinel animals for surveillance of WNV. The ruminants do not play a role in WNV epidemiology. PMID:27002305

  17. Mosquito Surveillance for 15 Years Reveals High Genetic Diversity Among West Nile Viruses in Israel.

    PubMed

    Lustig, Yaniv; Hindiyeh, Musa; Orshan, Laor; Weiss, Leah; Koren, Ravit; Katz-Likvornik, Shiri; Zadka, Hila; Glatman-Freedman, Aharona; Mendelson, Ella; Shulman, Lester M

    2016-04-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) is endemic in Israel and has been the cause of several outbreaks in recent years. In 2000, a countrywide mosquito survey was established to monitor WNV activity and characterize viral genotypes in Israel. We analyzed data from 7135 pools containing 277 186 mosquitoes collected over the past 15 years and, here, report partial sequences of WNV genomes obtained from 102 of the 336 positive mosquito pools. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that cluster 4 and the Mediterranean and Eastern European subtypes of cluster 2 within WNV lineage 1 circulated in Israel, as did WNV lineage 2, highlighting a high genetic diversity of WNV genotypes in our region. As a major crossroads for bird migration between Africa and Eurasia and with a long history of human infection, Israel serves as a resource hub for WNV in Africa and Eurasia and provides valuable information on WNV circulation in these regions. PMID:26597260

  18. Effects of weather and landscape on the equine West Nile virus infection risk in Mississippi, USA.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guiming

    2015-11-04

    The West Nile virus (WNv) continues to be a public health concern in North America. Dry weather appears to increase human WNv infection risks, but it is uncertain whether dry weather conditions exert similar effects on the corresponding equine WNv infection. This study assessed the effects of precipitation of the previous year and land cover diversity on the equine WNv risk of Mississippi, USA, at the county level in the year 2002 using Bayesian hierarchical models. The risk estimated for 2002 was found to be inversely related to annual precipitation of the preceding year. Equine WNv risks were lower with greater land cover diversity probably due to the diluting effects of biodiversity. Correlation between the equine and human WNv risks was positive but relatively low. Dry weather conditions of the previous year might reduce mosquito competitors and predators and subsequently increase mosquito abundances and equine WNv risks in agricultural areas with low biodiversity.

  19. Serologic survey of West Nile virus in horses from Central-West, Northeast and Southeast Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Jaqueline Raymondi; de Medeiros, Larissa Campos; dos Reis, Vinícius Pinho; Chávez, Juliana Helena; Munhoz, Thiago Demarchi; Borges, Gustavo Puia; Soares, Otavio Augusto Brioschi; de Campos, Carlos Henrique Coelho; Machado, Rosângela Zacarias; Baldani, Cristiane Divan; Silva, Maria Luana Cristiny Rodrigues; Faria, Joice Lara Maia; da Silva, Edson Elias; Figueiredo, Luiz Tadeu Moraes

    2013-01-01

    Since the emergence of West Nile virus (WNV) in North America in 1999, there have been several reports of WNV activity in Central and South American countries. To detect WNV in Brazil, we performed a serological survey of horses from different regions of Brazil using recombinant peptides from domain III of WNV. Positive samples were validated with the neutralisation test. Our results showed that of 79 ELISA-positive horses, nine expressed WNV-specific neutralising antibodies. Eight of the infected horses were from the state of Mato Grosso do Sul and one was from the state of Paraíba. Our results provide additional evidence for the emergence of WNV in Brazil and for its circulation in multiple regions of the country. PMID:24037110

  20. A Multiagency Approach to Reducing West Nile Virus Risk in Richmond County, Georgia, in 2015.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Rosmarie; Koehle, Fred; Flite, Oscar P; Rustin, R Chris

    2016-01-01

    The Richmond County Mosquito Control program's mission statement is to incorporate strategies of integrated mosquito control management that are effective, practical, and environmentally safe and protect the health of Richmond County residents, as well as promote public education, in order to prevent large mosquito populations and the diseases that they transmit. To this end, the program coordinates efforts with other county agencies in order to provide better service. This is a small program with limited resources, so in an effort to provide better integrated mosquito management, the mosquito control program and the Phinizy Center for Water Sciences joined efforts to trap mosquitoes at sites across the county, identify the species, and send the mosquitoes off for viral testing. These data help determine locations of disease-carrying mosquitoes so the county can more efficiently control the mosquito populations and reduce the risk of West Nile virus transmission. PMID:27613204

  1. Assessment of Arbovirus Surveillance 13 Years after Introduction of West Nile Virus, United States.

    PubMed

    Hadler, James L; Patel, Dhara; Nasci, Roger S; Petersen, Lyle R; Hughes, James M; Bradley, Kristy; Etkind, Paul; Kan, Lilly; Engel, Jeffrey

    2015-07-01

    Before 1999, the United States had no appropriated funding for arboviral surveillance, and many states conducted no such surveillance. After emergence of West Nile virus (WNV), federal funding was distributed to state and selected local health departments to build WNV surveillance systems. The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists conducted assessments of surveillance capacity of resulting systems in 2004 and in 2012; the assessment in 2012 was conducted after a 61% decrease in federal funding. In 2004, nearly all states and assessed local health departments had well-developed animal, mosquito, and human surveillance systems to monitor WNV activity and anticipate outbreaks. In 2012, many health departments had decreased mosquito surveillance and laboratory testing capacity and had no systematic disease-based surveillance for other arboviruses. Arboviral surveillance in many states might no longer be sufficient to rapidly detect and provide information needed to fully respond to WNV outbreaks and other arboviral threats (e.g., dengue, chikungunya).

  2. Detection of Persistent West Nile Virus RNA in Experimentally and Naturally Infected Avian Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, Sarah S.; Langevin, Stanley A.; Brault, Aaron C.; Woods, Leslie; Carroll, Brian D.; Reisen, William K.

    2012-01-01

    To determine whether West Nile virus (WNV) persistent infection in avian hosts may potentially serve as an overwintering mechanism, House Sparrows and House Finches, experimentally and naturally infected with several strains of WNV, and two naturally infected Western Scrub-Jays were held in mosquito-proof outdoor aviaries from 2007–March 2008. Overall, 94% (n = 36) of House Sparrows, 100% (n = 14) of House Finches and 2 Western Scrub-Jays remained WNV antibody positive. When combined by species, 37% of the House Sparrows, 50% of the House Finches, and 2 Western Scrub-Jays were WNV RNA positive at necropsy, up to 36 weeks post-infection. Infectious WNV was not detected. Our study supports the hypothesis that some avian hosts support the long-term persistence of WNV RNA, but it remains unresolved whether these infections relapse to restart an avian-arthropod transmission cycle and thereby serve as an overwintering mechanism for WNV. PMID:22826479

  3. West Nile Virus Emergence and Persistence in Los Angeles, California, 2003–2008

    PubMed Central

    Kwan, Jennifer L.; Kluh, Susanne; Madon, Minoo B.; Reisen, William K.

    2010-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) invaded Los Angeles in September 2003, and during the subsequent five-year period followed a pattern of amplification, subsidence, and resurgence. Enzootic transmission was tracked by abundance and infection incidence in Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus and Cx. tarsalis and by seroprevalence in peridomestic passerine birds, infection in dead birds, and seroconversions in sentinel chickens. Culex p. quinquefasciatus served as the primary vector of WNV, with gravid traps serving as the best sampling method and the most consistent indicator of viral activity. Spatial scan statistics applied to mosquito infection and positive dead bird data delimited three major clusters of WNV transmission, with introduction occurring in the Los Angeles Basin, and amplification and dispersal events carrying transmission to the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys. Los Angeles experienced major epidemics in 2004 and 2008, providing a unique opportunity to investigate specific patterns of enzootic amplification preceding epidemics. PMID:20682890

  4. Of Mice and Men: Protective and Pathogenic Immune Responses to West Nile virus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Trobaugh, Derek

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, first emerged in the Western Hemisphere in 1999. Although the majority of infections are asymptomatic, WNV causes significant morbidity and mortality in a minority of individuals who develop neuroinvasive disease, in particular the elderly and immunocompromised. Research in animal models has demonstrated interactions between WNV and the innate and adaptive immune system, some of which protect the host and others which are deleterious. Studies of disease pathogenesis in humans are less numerous, largely due to the complexities of WNV epidemiology. Human studies that have been done support the notion that innate and adaptive immune responses are delicately balanced and may help or harm the host. Further human investigations are needed to characterize beneficial responses to WNV with the goal of such research leading to therapeutics and effective vaccines in order to control this emerging viral disease. PMID:26120511

  5. Vector competence of three North American strains of Aedes albopictus for West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Sardelis, Michael R; Turell, Michael J; O'Guinn, Monica L; Andre, Richard G; Roberts, Donald R

    2002-12-01

    To evaluate the potential for North American (NA) Aedes albopictus to transmit West Nile virus (WN), mosquito strains derived from 3 NA sources (Frederick County, Maryland, FRED strain; Cheverly, MD, CHEV strain; Chambers and Liberty counties, Texas, TAMU strain) were tested. These strains were tested along with a previously tested strain from a Hawaiian source (OAHU strain). Mosquitoes were fed on 2- to 3-day-old chickens previously inoculated with a New York strain (Crow 397-99) of WN. All of the NA strains were competent laboratory vectors of WN, with transmission rates of 36, 50, 83, and 92% for the FRED, CHEV, OAHU, and TAMU strains, respectively. The extrinsic incubation period for WN in Ae. albopictus held at 26 degrees C was estimated to be 10 days. Based on efficiency of viral transmission, evidence of natural infection, bionomics, and distribution, Ae. albopictus could be an important bridge vector of WN in the southeastern USA.

  6. Landscape-level spatial patterns of West Nile virus risk in the northern Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Ting-Wu; Hockett, Christine W; Kightlinger, Lon; Wimberly, Michael C

    2012-04-01

    Understanding the landscape-level determinants of West Nile virus (WNV) can aid in mapping high-risk areas and enhance disease control and prevention efforts. This study analyzed the spatial patterns of human WNV cases in three areas in South Dakota during 2003-2007 and investigated the influences of land cover, hydrology, soils, irrigation, and elevation by using case-control models. Land cover, hydrology, soils, and elevation all influenced WNV risk, although the main drivers were different in each study area. Risk for WNV was generally higher in areas with rural land cover than in developed areas, and higher close to wetlands or soils with a high ponding frequency. In western South Dakota, WNV risk also decreased with increasing elevation and was higher in forested areas. Our results showed that the spatial patterns of human WNV risk were associated with landscape-level features that likely reflect variability in mosquito ecology, avian host communities, and human activity. PMID:22492161

  7. Continued Evolution of West Nile Virus, Houston, Texas, USA, 2002–2012

    PubMed Central

    Mann, Brian R.; McMullen, Allison R.; Swetnam, Daniele M.; Salvato, Vence; Reyna, Martin; Guzman, Hilda; Bueno, Rudy; Dennett, James A.; Tesh, Robert B.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the genetics and evolution of West Nile virus (WNV) since initial detection in the United States in 1999 on the basis of continual surveillance studies in the Houston, Texas, USA, metropolitan area (Harris County) as a surrogate model for WNV evolution on a national scale. Full-length genomic sequencing of 14 novel 2010–2012 WNV isolates collected from resident birds in Harris County demonstrates emergence of 4 independent genetic groups distinct from historical strains circulating in the greater Houston region since 2002. Phylogenetic and geospatial analyses of the 2012 WNV isolates indicate closer genetic relationship with 2003–2006 Harris County isolates than more recent 2007–2011 isolates. Inferred monophyletic relationships of these groups with several 2006–2009 northeastern US isolates supports potential introduction of a novel WNV strain in Texas since 2010. These results emphasize the need to maintain WNV surveillance activities to better understand WNV transmission dynamics in the United States. PMID:23965756

  8. First evidence of West Nile virus lineage 2 circulation in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Monaco, Federica; Çizmeci, Şirin; Polci, Andrea; Portanti, Ottavio; Barut, Fatih; Deniz, Ahmet; Cosseddu, Gian Mario; Pişkin, Çiğdem; Savini, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    In August 2014, a West Nile virus (WNV) strain belonging to lineage 2 was detected in the brain tissues of a 9 year old mare euthanised after showing severe clinical signs in Bursa region, Turkey. Phylogenetic analyses of 290 bp of NS3 coding region clustered the Turkish strain together with the 2010-2012 Greek isolates. Either IgG and IgM or IgG only WNV antibodies were detected in 2 and 11 horses, respectively, which were in the outbreak surrounding. No WNV RNA was detected in pools of 50 individuals of Culex pipiens (n = 2), Ochlerotatus caspius (n = 2), and Culex theileri (n = 1) collected in the infected premises.

  9. Emergency department management of mosquito-borne illness: malaria, dengue, and West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Caraballo, Hector; King, Kevin

    2014-05-01

    Up to 700 million people are infected and more than a million die each year from mosquito-borne illness. While the vast majority of cases occur in endemic tropical and subtropical regions, international travel and migration patterns have increased their prevalence in North America. This review discusses the diagnosis and treatment of the 3 most common mosquito-borne illnesses seen in the United States: Plasmodium falciparum malaria, dengue, and West Nile virus. With no pathognomonic findings, it is critical that emergency clinicians in nonendemic areas maintain a high index of suspicion, conduct a thorough history/travel history, and interpret indirect findings to initiate prompt and appropriate treatment. This review gathers the best evidence from international public health resources, surveillance studies, guidelines, and academic research to give emergency clinicians tools to combat these potentially lethal infections.

  10. Comparing Competitive Fitness of West Nile Virus Strains in Avian and Mosquito Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Worwa, Gabriella; Wheeler, Sarah S.; Brault, Aaron C.; Reisen, William K.

    2015-01-01

    Enzootic transmission of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) involves various species of birds and ornithophilic mosquitoes. Single nucleotide substitutions in the WNV genome may impact viral fitness necessary for WNV adaptation and evolution as previously shown for the WN02 genotype. In an effort to study phenotypic change, we developed an in vivo fitness competition model in two biologically relevant hosts for WNV. The House Finch (HOFI; Haemorhous mexicanus) and Culex tarsalis mosquitoes represent moderately susceptible hosts for WNV, are highly abundant in Western North America and frequently are infected with WNV in nature. Herein, we inoculated HOFIs and Cx. tarsalis competitively (dually) and singly with infectious-clone derived viruses of the founding California isolate COAV997-2003 (COAV997-IC), the founding North American isolate NY99 (NY99-IC), and a 2004 field isolate from California (CA-04), and compared the replicative capacities (fitness) of these viruses to a genetically marked virus of COAV997 (COAV997-5nt) by measuring RNA copy numbers. COAV997 and COAV997-5nt exhibited neutral fitness in HOFIs and Cx. tarsalis, and the temperature-sensitive phenotype of COAV997 did not affect replication in HOFIs as none of the infected birds became febrile. The NY99 and CA-04 isolates demonstrated elevated fitness in HOFIs compared to COAV997-5nt, whereas all viruses replicated to similar titers and RNA copies in Cx. tarsalis, and the only fitness differences were related to infection rates. Our data demonstrated that competitive replication allows for the sensitive comparison of fitness differences among two genetically closely related viruses using relevant hosts of WNV while eliminating host-to-host differences. In conclusion, our approach may be helpful in understanding the extent of phenotypic change in fitness associated with genetic changes in WNV. PMID:25965850

  11. Pathogenesis of West Nile virus lineage 1 and 2 in experimentally infected large falcons.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Ute; Angenvoort, Joke; Fischer, Dominik; Fast, Christine; Eiden, Martin; Rodriguez, Ariel V; Revilla-Fernández, Sandra; Nowotny, Norbert; de la Fuente, Jorge García; Lierz, Michael; Groschup, Martin H

    2013-01-25

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a zoonotic flavivirus that is transmitted by blood-suckling mosquitoes with birds serving as the primary vertebrate reservoir hosts (enzootic cycle). Some bird species like ravens, raptors and jays are highly susceptible and develop deadly encephalitis while others are infected subclinically only. Birds of prey are highly susceptible and show substantial mortality rates following infection. To investigate the WNV pathogenesis in falcons we inoculated twelve large falcons, 6 birds per group, subcutaneously with viruses belonging to two different lineages (lineage 1 strain NY 99 and lineage 2 strain Austria). Three different infection doses were utilized: low (approx. 500 TCID50), intermediate (approx. 4 log10 TCID50) and high (approx. 6 log10 TCID50). Clinical signs were monitored during the course of the experiments lasting 14 and 21 days. All falcons developed viremia for two weeks and shed virus for almost the same period of time. Using quantitative real-time RT-PCR WNV was detected in blood, in cloacal and oropharyngeal swabs and following euthanasia and necropsy of the animals in a variety of neuronal and extraneuronal organs. Antibodies to WNV were first time detected by ELISA and neutralization assay after 6 days post infection (dpi). Pathological findings consistently included splenomegaly, non-suppurative myocarditis, meningoencephalitis and vasculitis. By immunohistochemistry WNV-antigens were demonstrated intralesionally. These results impressively illustrate the devastating and possibly deadly effects of WNV infection in falcons, independent of the genetic lineage and dose of the challenge virus used. Due to the relatively high virus load and long duration of viremia falcons may also be considered competent WNV amplifying hosts, and thus may play a role in the transmission cycle of this zoonotic virus. PMID:22909991

  12. Parasitic Cowbirds have increased immunity to West Nile and other mosquitoborne encephalitis viruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reisen, W.K.; Hahn, D.C.

    2006-01-01

    The rapid geographic spread of West Nile Virus [WNV, Flaviviridae, Flavivirus] across the United States has stimulated interest in comparative host infection studies of avian species to delineate competent reservoir hosts critical for viral amplification. Striking taxonomic differences in avian susceptibility have been noted, offering the opportunity to strategically select species on the basis of life history traits to examine aspects of pathogen virulence or host immunity. We hypothesized that avian brood parasites would show increased resistance to pathogens compared to related taxa, because they have been exposed in their evolutionary history to a wide array of infectious organisms from their different parenting species. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is a generalist brood parasite that parasitizes 200+ North American species. Elevated exposure to other species? parasites may have created an unusual degree of pathogen resistance. We compared the relative susceptibility of adult cowbirds to three closely-related non-parasitic species, Red-winged blackbirds, Tricolored blackbirds and Brewer?s blackbirds, to invading NY99 strain of WNV that is highly virulent for many passeriform birds. Previously we had experimentally infected these species with two North American mosquitoborne encephalitis viruses, western equine encephalomyelitis virus [WEEV, Togaviridae, Alphavirus] and St. Louis encephalitis virus [SLEV, Flaviviridae, Flavivirus]. Our results showed that cowbirds exhibited significantly lower viremia responses against all three viruses as well as after co-infection with both WEEV and WNV than did the three related, non-parasitic species. These data supported our hypothesis and indicated that cowbirds were more resistant to infection to both native and introduced viruses.

  13. Theoretical Potential of Passerine Filariasis to Enhance the Enzootic Transmission of West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    VAUGHAN, JEFFERSON A.; MEHUS, JOSEPH O.; BREWER, CHRISTINA M.; KVASAGER, DANIELLE K.; BAUER, SARINA; VAUGHAN, JESSICA L.; HASSAN, HASSAN K.; UNNASCH, THOMAS R.; BELL, JEFFREY A.

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrate reservoirs of arboviruses are often infected with microfilariae (MF). Laboratory studies have shown that MF can enhance the infectivity of arboviruses to mosquitoes. Soon after being ingested, MF penetrate the mosquito midgut. If the host blood also contains virus (i.e., vertebrate is dually infected), penetrating MF may introduce virus into the hemocoel. This can transform otherwise virus-incompetent mosquito species into virus-competent species and simultaneously accelerate viral development, allowing mosquitoes to transmit virus sooner than normal. This phenomenon is termed microfilarial enhancement of arboviral transmission. The prevalence of MF is very high in many passerine populations in North America. Therefore, we investigated if microfilarial enhancement could have facilitated the establishment and rapid spread of West Nile virus (WNV) across the mid-western United States. Our investigations revealed that mosquitoes, WNV, and passerine MF do interact in nature because; 1) 17% of 54 common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula L.), 8% of 26 American robins (Turdus migratorius L.), and 33% of three eastern kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus L.) were concurrently microfilaremic and seropositive to WNV; 2) feeding activities of mosquitoes overlapped temporally with the appearance of MF in the blood of common grackles; 3) mosquitoes fed on common grackles and American robins in nature; and 4) mosquito ingestion of two taxonomically distant species of passerine MF (i.e., Chandlerella quiscali and Eufilaria spp.) resulted in penetration of mosquito midguts. To estimate the theoretical effect that MF enhancement could have on WNV transmission in areas of high MF prevalence, vectorial capacity values were calculated for Culex mosquitoes feeding on common grackles, whereby MF enhancement was either invoked or ignored. For Cx. pipiens, vectorial capacity increased over three-fold when potential effects of MF were included in the calculations. For Cx. tarsalis, the

  14. Theoretical potential of passerine filariasis to enhance the enzootic transmission of West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Jefferson A; Mehus, Joseph O; Brewer, Christina M; Kvasager, Danielle K; Bauer, Sarina; Vaughan, Jessica L; Hassan, Hassan K; Unnasch, Thomas R; Bell, Jeffrey A

    2012-11-01

    Vertebrate reservoirs of arboviruses are often infected with microfilariae (MF). Laboratory studies have shown that MF can enhance the infectivity of arboviruses to mosquitoes. Soon after being ingested, MF penetrate the mosquito midgut. If the host blood also contains virus (i.e., vertebrate is dually infected), penetrating MF may introduce virus into the hemocoel. This can transform otherwise virus-incompetent mosquito species into virus-competent species and simultaneously accelerate viral development, allowing mosquitoes to transmit virus sooner than normal. This phenomenon is termed microfilarial enhancement of arboviral transmission. The prevalence of MF is very high in many passerine populations in North America. Therefore, we investigated if microfilarial enhancement could have facilitated the establishment and rapid spread of West Nile virus (WNV) across the mid-western United States. Our investigations revealed that mosquitoes, WNV, and passerine MF do interact in nature because; 1) 17% of 54 common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula L.), 8% of 26 American robins (Turdus migratorius L.), and 33% of three eastern kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus L.) were concurrently microfilaremic and seropositive to WNV; 2) feeding activities of mosquitoes overlapped temporally with the appearance of MF in the blood of common grackles; 3) mosquitoes fed on common grackles and American robins in nature; and 4) mosquito ingestion of two taxonomically distant species of passerine MF (i.e., Chandlerella quiscali and Eufilaria spp.) resulted in penetration of mosquito midguts. To estimate the theoretical effect that MF enhancement could have on WNV transmission in areas of high MF prevalence, vectorial capacity values were calculated for Culex mosquitoes feeding on common grackles, whereby MF enhancement was either invoked or ignored. For Cx. pipiens, vectorial capacity increased over three-fold when potential effects of MF were included in the calculations. For Cx. tarsalis, the

  15. Pathogenesis of West Nile virus lineage 1 and 2 in experimentally infected large falcons.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Ute; Angenvoort, Joke; Fischer, Dominik; Fast, Christine; Eiden, Martin; Rodriguez, Ariel V; Revilla-Fernández, Sandra; Nowotny, Norbert; de la Fuente, Jorge García; Lierz, Michael; Groschup, Martin H

    2013-01-25

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a zoonotic flavivirus that is transmitted by blood-suckling mosquitoes with birds serving as the primary vertebrate reservoir hosts (enzootic cycle). Some bird species like ravens, raptors and jays are highly susceptible and develop deadly encephalitis while others are infected subclinically only. Birds of prey are highly susceptible and show substantial mortality rates following infection. To investigate the WNV pathogenesis in falcons we inoculated twelve large falcons, 6 birds per group, subcutaneously with viruses belonging to two different lineages (lineage 1 strain NY 99 and lineage 2 strain Austria). Three different infection doses were utilized: low (approx. 500 TCID50), intermediate (approx. 4 log10 TCID50) and high (approx. 6 log10 TCID50). Clinical signs were monitored during the course of the experiments lasting 14 and 21 days. All falcons developed viremia for two weeks and shed virus for almost the same period of time. Using quantitative real-time RT-PCR WNV was detected in blood, in cloacal and oropharyngeal swabs and following euthanasia and necropsy of the animals in a variety of neuronal and extraneuronal organs. Antibodies to WNV were first time detected by ELISA and neutralization assay after 6 days post infection (dpi). Pathological findings consistently included splenomegaly, non-suppurative myocarditis, meningoencephalitis and vasculitis. By immunohistochemistry WNV-antigens were demonstrated intralesionally. These results impressively illustrate the devastating and possibly deadly effects of WNV infection in falcons, independent of the genetic lineage and dose of the challenge virus used. Due to the relatively high virus load and long duration of viremia falcons may also be considered competent WNV amplifying hosts, and thus may play a role in the transmission cycle of this zoonotic virus.

  16. The role of temperature on the spatiotemporal distribution of West Nile virus in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, D. E.; Kilpatrick, A. M.; Ruybal, J.; Diffenbaugh, N. S.

    2012-12-01

    Determining the relationship between climatological factors and vector-borne pathogens remains a critical challenge. The recent arrival of the West Nile virus (WNV) to the Americas, coupled with an extensive climatological and disease observation network, offers the potential to improve our mechanistic understanding of climate's influence on vector-borne disease transmission. Since its introduction to the Americas in the summer of 1999, the West Nile Virus (WNV) has rapidly spread from coastal New York State, across the North American continent, and into Central and South America. To date, 13,385 cases of WNV-induced human neuroinvasive disease have been reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, with approximately 1,267 fatalities attributed to viral infection (as of 31 July 2012). Of those infected, severe symptoms develop in only ~1 in 150 people, suggesting that the total U.S. population infected with WNV is on the order of 2 million. The transmission of WNV is predominantly vector-borne, with three mosquitoes of the Culex genus, pipiens, tarsalis, and quinquefasciatus, largely responsible for the spread of the pathogen between avian and human hosts and across the contiguous United States. In this contribution, we synthesize laboratory and local-scale field studies of the Culex vectors with observed and modeled climatological data in an attempt to determine the mechanistic influence of temperature on the spatiotemporal distribution of WNV incidence across the United States. Our preliminary results suggest that many of the physiological factors that determine the transmission intensity of WNV, including mosquito biting rate, vector competence, infection transition rate, and mosquito mortality rate, demonstrate direct temperature dependencies. Based on these results, we utilize bias-corrected outputs from late-20th and mid-21st century CMIP5 simulations to examine the influence of temperature on the distribution of WNV relative to other factors and to

  17. Clinical evaluation and outcomes of naturally acquired West Nile virus infection in raptors.

    PubMed

    Nemeth, Nicole M; Kratz, Gail E; Bates, Rebecca; Scherpelz, Judy A; Bowen, Richard A; Komar, Nicholas

    2009-03-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) infection and associated disease and mortality have been documented in numerous North American raptor species. Information regarding clinical presentations and long-term outcomes of WNV-infected raptors is important in the clinic for the diagnosis, treatment, and assessment of prognosis, as well as for understanding potential population level effects on raptor species. Raptors of 22 species admitted to a rehabilitation clinic were tested, from 2002 to 2005, for previous and acute WNV infection, while comparing clinical syndromes, trauma, and rehabilitation outcomes. Forty-two percent of admitted raptors (132/314) had been infected with WNV, and these presented with a WNV-attributed clinical disease rate of 67.4% (89/132). West Nile virus-infected raptors were less likely to be released (79/132 [59.8%]) than negative raptors (138/182 [75.8%]) and more likely to die or be euthanized (47/132 [35.6%] for WNV-infected vs. 32/182 [17.6%] for WNV-negative). However, WNV-infected raptors with neurologic disease were no less likely to be released (29/53 [54.7%]) than those without neurologic disease (50/79 [63.3%]). Clinical WNV-associated syndromes varied among species. Great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) were more likely to have neurologic signs, whereas American kestrels (Falco sparverius) and Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsonii) were less likely to have neurologic signs. These results suggest that free-ranging raptors are frequently infected with WNV and that clinical syndromes differ among species. WNV has potentially devastating effects on raptors; however, rehabilitation of WNV-infected raptors can lead to positive outcomes, even for those having had severe neurologic disease. PMID:19368240

  18. A GIS-driven integrated real-time surveillance pilot system for national West Nile virus dead bird surveillance in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Shuai, Jiangping; Buck, Peter; Sockett, Paul; Aramini, Jeff; Pollari, Frank

    2006-01-01

    Background An extensive West Nile virus surveillance program of dead birds, mosquitoes, horses, and human infection has been launched as a result of West Nile virus first being reported in Canada in 2001. Some desktop and web GIS have been applied to West Nile virus dead bird surveillance. There have been urgent needs for a comprehensive GIS services and real-time surveillance. Results A pilot system was developed to integrate real-time surveillance, real-time GIS, and Open GIS technology in order to enhance West Nile virus dead bird surveillance in Canada. Driven and linked by the newly developed real-time web GIS technology, this integrated real-time surveillance system includes conventional real-time web-based surveillance components, integrated real-time GIS components, and integrated Open GIS components. The pilot system identified the major GIS functions and capacities that may be important to public health surveillance. The six web GIS clients provide a wide range of GIS tools for public health surveillance. The pilot system has been serving Canadian national West Nile virus dead bird surveillance since 2005 and is adaptable to serve other disease surveillance. Conclusion This pilot system has streamlined, enriched and enhanced national West Nile virus dead bird surveillance in Canada, improved productivity, and reduced operation cost. Its real-time GIS technology, static map technology, WMS integration, and its integration with non-GIS real-time surveillance system made this pilot system unique in surveillance and public health GIS. PMID:16626490

  19. Meteorological conditions associated with increased incidence of West Nile virus disease in the United States, 2004-2012.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Micah B; Monaghan, Andrew J; Hayden, Mary H; Eisen, Rebecca J; Delorey, Mark J; Lindsey, Nicole P; Nasci, Roger S; Fischer, Marc

    2015-05-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States. Annual seasonal outbreaks vary in size and location. Predicting where and when higher than normal WNV transmission will occur can help direct limited public health resources. We developed models for the contiguous United States to identify meteorological anomalies associated with above average incidence of WNV neuroinvasive disease from 2004 to 2012. We used county-level WNV data reported to ArboNET and meteorological data from the North American Land Data Assimilation System. As a result of geographic differences in WNV transmission, we divided the United States into East and West, and 10 climate regions. Above average annual temperature was associated with increased likelihood of higher than normal WNV disease incidence, nationally and in most regions. Lower than average annual total precipitation was associated with higher disease incidence in the eastern United States, but the opposite was true in most western regions. Although multiple factors influence WNV transmission, these findings show that anomalies in temperature and precipitation are associated with above average WNV disease incidence. Readily accessible meteorological data may be used to develop predictive models to forecast geographic areas with elevated WNV disease risk before the coming season. PMID:25802435

  20. Meteorological Conditions Associated with Increased Incidence of West Nile Virus Disease in the United States, 2004–2012

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Micah B.; Monaghan, Andrew J.; Hayden, Mary H.; Eisen, Rebecca J.; Delorey, Mark J.; Lindsey, Nicole P.; Nasci, Roger S.; Fischer, Marc

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States. Annual seasonal outbreaks vary in size and location. Predicting where and when higher than normal WNV transmission will occur can help direct limited public health resources. We developed models for the contiguous United States to identify meteorological anomalies associated with above average incidence of WNV neuroinvasive disease from 2004 to 2012. We used county-level WNV data reported to ArboNET and meteorological data from the North American Land Data Assimilation System. As a result of geographic differences in WNV transmission, we divided the United States into East and West, and 10 climate regions. Above average annual temperature was associated with increased likelihood of higher than normal WNV disease incidence, nationally and in most regions. Lower than average annual total precipitation was associated with higher disease incidence in the eastern United States, but the opposite was true in most western regions. Although multiple factors influence WNV transmission, these findings show that anomalies in temperature and precipitation are associated with above average WNV disease incidence. Readily accessible meteorological data may be used to develop predictive models to forecast geographic areas with elevated WNV disease risk before the coming season. PMID:25802435

  1. West Nile virus transmission: results from the integrated surveillance system in Italy, 2008 to 2015.

    PubMed

    Rizzo, Caterina; Napoli, Christian; Venturi, Giulietta; Pupella, Simonetta; Lombardini, Letizia; Calistri, Paolo; Monaco, Federica; Cagarelli, Roberto; Angelini, Paola; Bellini, Romeo; Tamba, Marco; Piatti, Alessandra; Russo, Francesca; Palù, Giorgio; Chiari, Mario; Lavazza, Antonio; Bella, Antonino

    2016-09-15

    In Italy a national Plan for the surveillance of imported and autochthonous human vector-borne diseases (chikungunya, dengue, Zika virus disease and West Nile virus (WNV) disease) that integrates human and veterinary (animals and vectors) surveillance, is issued and revised annually according with the observed epidemiological changes. Here we describe results of the WNV integrated veterinary and human surveillance systems in Italy from 2008 to 2015. A real time data exchange protocol is in place between the surveillance systems to rapidly identify occurrence of human and animal cases and to define and update the map of affected areas i.e. provinces during the vector activity period from June to October. WNV continues to cause severe illnesses in Italy during every transmission season, albeit cases are sporadic and the epidemiology varies by virus lineage and geographic area. The integration of surveillance activities and a multidisciplinary approach made it possible and have been fundamental in supporting implementation of and/or strengthening preventive measures aimed at reducing the risk of transmission of WNV trough blood, tissues and organ donation and to implementing further measures for vector control.

  2. Limited efficacy of West Nile virus vaccines in large falcons (Falco spp.).

    PubMed

    Angenvoort, Joke; Fischer, Dominik; Fast, Christine; Ziegler, Ute; Eiden, Martin; de la Fuente, Jorge Garcia; Lierz, Michael; Groschup, Martin H

    2014-04-07

    West Nile virus (WNV) can lead to fatal diseases in raptor species. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine which has been designed specifically for use in breeding stocks of falcons. Therefore the immunogenicity and protective capacity of two commercially available WNV vaccines, both approved for use in horses, were evaluated in large falcons. One vaccine contained adjuvanted inactivated WNV lineage 1 immunogens, while the second represented a canarypox recombinant live virus vector vaccine. The efficacy of different vaccination regimes for these two vaccines was assessed serologically and by challenging the falcons with a WNV strain of homologous lineage 1. Our studies show that the recombinant vaccine conveys a slightly better protection than the inactivated vaccine, but moderate (recombinant vaccine) or weak (inactivated vaccine) side effects were observed at the injection sites. Using the recommended 2-dose regimen, both vaccines elicited only sub-optimal antibody responses and gave only partial protection following WNV challenge. Better results were obtained for both vaccines after a third dose, i.e. alleviation of clinical signs, absence of fatalities and reduction of virus shedding and viraemia. Therefore the consequences of WNV infections in falcons can be clearly alleviated by vaccination, especially if the amended triple administration scheme is used, although side effects at the vaccination site must be accepted.

  3. Surveillance Potential of Non-Native Hawaiian Birds for Detection of West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Dusek, Robert J.; Brand, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in North America in 1999. Alaska and Hawaii (HI) remain the only U.S. states in which transmission of WNV has not been detected. Dead bird surveillance has played an important role in the detection of the virus geographically, as well as temporally. In North America, corvids have played a major role in WNV surveillance; however, the only corvid in HI is the endangered Hawaiian crow that exists only in captivity, thus precluding the use of this species for WNV surveillance in HI. To evaluate the suitability of alternate avian species for WNV surveillance, we experimentally challenged seven abundant non-native bird species present in HI with WNV and compared mortality, viremia, oral shedding of virus, and seroconversion. For detection of WNV in oral swabs, we compared viral culture, reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and the RAMP® test. For detection of antibodies to WNV, we compared an indirect and a competitive enzyme-linked immunoassay. We found four species (house sparrow, house finch, Japanese white-eye, and Java sparrow) that may be useful in dead bird surveillance for WNV; while common myna, zebra dove, and spotted dove survived infection and may be useful in serosurveillance. PMID:26304918

  4. Experimental Infection of Rhesus Macaques and Common Marmosets with a European Strain of West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Verstrepen, Babs E.; Fagrouch, Zahra; van Heteren, Melanie; Buitendijk, Hester; Haaksma, Tom; Beenhakker, Niels; Palù, Giorgio; Richner, Justin M.; Diamond, Michael S.; Bogers, Willy M.; Barzon, Luisa; Chabierski, Stefan; Ulbert, Sebastian; Kondova, Ivanela; Verschoor, Ernst J.

    2014-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that infects humans and other mammals. In some cases WNV causes severe neurological disease. During recent years, outbreaks of WNV are increasing in worldwide distribution and novel genetic variants of the virus have been detected. Although a substantial amount of data exists on WNV infections in rodent models, little is known about early events during WNV infection in primates, including humans. To gain a deeper understanding of this process, we performed experimental infections of rhesus macaques and common marmosets with a virulent European WNV strain (WNV-Ita09) and monitored virological, hematological, and biochemical parameters. WNV-Ita09 productively infected both monkey species, with higher replication and wider tissue distribution in common marmosets compared to rhesus macaques. The animals in this study however, did not develop clinical signs of WNV disease, nor showed substantial deviations in clinical laboratory parameters. In both species, the virus induced a rapid CD56dimCD16bright natural killer response, followed by IgM and IgG antibody responses. The results of this study show that healthy rhesus macaques and common marmosets are promising animal models to study WNV-Ita09 infection. Both models may be particularly of use to evaluate potential vaccine candidates or to investigate WNV pathogenesis. PMID:24743302

  5. Plant-made vaccines against West Nile virus are potent, safe, and economically feasible.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiang

    2015-05-01

    The threat of West Nile virus (WNV) epidemics with increasingly severe neuroinvasive infections demands the development and licensing of effective vaccines. To date, vaccine candidates based on inactivated, live-attenuated, or chimeric virus, and viral DNA and WNV protein subunits have been developed. Some have been approved for veterinary use or are under clinical investigation, yet no vaccine has been licensed for human use. Reaching the milestone of a commercialized human vaccine, however, may largely depend on the economics of vaccine production. Analysis suggests that currently only novel low-cost production technologies would allow vaccination to outcompete the cost of surveillance and clinical treatment. Here, we review progress using plants to address the economic challenges of WNV vaccine production. The advantages of plants as hosts for vaccine production in cost, speed and scalability, especially those of viral vector-based transient expression systems, are discussed. The progress in developing WNV subunit vaccines in plants is reviewed within the context of their expression, characterization, downstream processing, and immunogenicity in animal models. The development of vaccines based on enveloped and non-enveloped virus-like particles is also discussed. These advancements suggest that plants may provide a production platform that offers potent, safe and affordable human vaccines against WNV.

  6. Susceptibility of greater sage-grouse to experimental infection with West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Clark, Larry; Hall, Jeffrey; McLean, Robert; Dunbar, Michael; Klenk, Kaci; Bowen, Richard; Smeraski, Cynthia A

    2006-01-01

    Populations of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have declined 45-80% in North America since 1950. Although much of this decline has been attributed to habitat loss, recent field studies have indicated that West Nile virus (WNV) has had a significant negative impact on local populations of grouse. We confirm the susceptibility of greater sage-grouse to WNV infection in laboratory experimental studies. Grouse were challenged by subcutaneous injection of WNV (10(3.2) plaque-forming units [PFUs]). All grouse died within 6 days of infection. The Kaplan-Meier estimate for 50% survival was 4.5 days. Mean peak viremia for nonvaccinated birds was 10(6.4) PFUs/ml (+/-10(0.2) PFUs/ml, standard error of the mean [SEM]). Virus was shed cloacally and orally. Four of the five vaccinated grouse died, but survival time was increased (50% survival=9.5 days), with 1 grouse surviving to the end-point of the experiment (14 days) with no signs of illness. Mean peak viremia for the vaccinated birds was 10(2.3) PFUs/ml (+/-10(0.6) PFUs/ml, SEM). Two birds cleared the virus from their blood before death or euthanasia. These data emphasize the high susceptibility of greater sage-grouse to infection with WNV.

  7. Surveillance potential of non-native Hawaiian birds for detection of West Nile Virus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Dusek, Robert J.; Brand, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in North America in 1999. Alaska and Hawaii (HI) remain the only U.S. states in which transmission of WNV has not been detected. Dead bird surveillance has played an important role in the detection of the virus geographically, as well as temporally. In North America, corvids have played a major role in WNV surveillance; however, the only corvid in HI is the endangered Hawaiian crow that exists only in captivity, thus precluding the use of this species for WNV surveillance in HI. To evaluate the suitability of alternate avian species for WNV surveillance, we experimentally challenged seven abundant non-native bird species present in HI with WNV and compared mortality, viremia, oral shedding of virus, and seroconversion. For detection of WNV in oral swabs, we compared viral culture, reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and the RAMP® test. For detection of antibodies to WNV, we compared an indirect and a competitive enzyme-linked immunoassay. We found four species (house sparrow, house finch, Japanese white-eye, and Java sparrow) that may be useful in dead bird surveillance for WNV; while common myna, zebra dove, and spotted dove survived infection and may be useful in serosurveillance.

  8. West Nile virus transmission: results from the integrated surveillance system in Italy, 2008 to 2015.

    PubMed

    Rizzo, Caterina; Napoli, Christian; Venturi, Giulietta; Pupella, Simonetta; Lombardini, Letizia; Calistri, Paolo; Monaco, Federica; Cagarelli, Roberto; Angelini, Paola; Bellini, Romeo; Tamba, Marco; Piatti, Alessandra; Russo, Francesca; Palù, Giorgio; Chiari, Mario; Lavazza, Antonio; Bella, Antonino

    2016-09-15

    In Italy a national Plan for the surveillance of imported and autochthonous human vector-borne diseases (chikungunya, dengue, Zika virus disease and West Nile virus (WNV) disease) that integrates human and veterinary (animals and vectors) surveillance, is issued and revised annually according with the observed epidemiological changes. Here we describe results of the WNV integrated veterinary and human surveillance systems in Italy from 2008 to 2015. A real time data exchange protocol is in place between the surveillance systems to rapidly identify occurrence of human and animal cases and to define and update the map of affected areas i.e. provinces during the vector activity period from June to October. WNV continues to cause severe illnesses in Italy during every transmission season, albeit cases are sporadic and the epidemiology varies by virus lineage and geographic area. The integration of surveillance activities and a multidisciplinary approach made it possible and have been fundamental in supporting implementation of and/or strengthening preventive measures aimed at reducing the risk of transmission of WNV trough blood, tissues and organ donation and to implementing further measures for vector control. PMID:27684046

  9. West Nile virus transmission: results from the integrated surveillance system in Italy, 2008 to 2015

    PubMed Central

    Rizzo, Caterina; Napoli, Christian; Venturi, Giulietta; Pupella, Simonetta; Lombardini, Letizia; Calistri, Paolo; Monaco, Federica; Cagarelli, Roberto; Angelini, Paola; Bellini, Romeo; Tamba, Marco; Piatti, Alessandra; Russo, Francesca; Palù, Giorgio; Chiari, Mario; Lavazza, Antonio; Bella, Antonino

    2016-01-01

    In Italy a national Plan for the surveillance of imported and autochthonous human vector-borne diseases (chikungunya, dengue, Zika virus disease and West Nile virus (WNV) disease) that integrates human and veterinary (animals and vectors) surveillance, is issued and revised annually according with the observed epidemiological changes. Here we describe results of the WNV integrated veterinary and human surveillance systems in Italy from 2008 to 2015. A real time data exchange protocol is in place between the surveillance systems to rapidly identify occurrence of human and animal cases and to define and update the map of affected areas i.e. provinces during the vector activity period from June to October. WNV continues to cause severe illnesses in Italy during every transmission season, albeit cases are sporadic and the epidemiology varies by virus lineage and geographic area. The integration of surveillance activities and a multidisciplinary approach made it possible and have been fundamental in supporting implementation of and/or strengthening preventive measures aimed at reducing the risk of transmission of WNV trough blood, tissues and organ donation and to implementing further measures for vector control. PMID:27684046

  10. Experimental infection of chickens as candidate sentinels for West Nile virus.

    PubMed Central

    Langevin, S. A.; Bunning, M.; Davis, B.; Komar, N.

    2001-01-01

    We evaluated the susceptibility, duration and intensity of viremia, and serologic responses of chickens to West Nile (WN) virus (WNV-NY99) infection by needle, mosquito, or oral inoculation. None of 21 infected chickens developed clinical disease, and all these developed neutralizing antibodies. Although viremias were detectable in all but one chicken, the magnitude (mean peak viremia <10,000 PFU/mL) was deemed insufficient to infect vector mosquitoes. WNV-NY99 was detected in cloacal and/or throat swabs from 13 of these chickens, and direct transmission of WNV-NY99 between chickens occurred once (in 16 trials), from a needle-inoculated bird. Nine chickens that ingested WNV-NY99 failed to become infected. The domestic chickens in this study were susceptible to WN virus infection, developed detectable antibodies, survived infection, and with one exception failed to infect cage mates. These are all considered positive attributes of a sentinel species for WN virus surveillance programs. PMID:11585538

  11. Limited efficacy of West Nile virus vaccines in large falcons (Falco spp.)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) can lead to fatal diseases in raptor species. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine which has been designed specifically for use in breeding stocks of falcons. Therefore the immunogenicity and protective capacity of two commercially available WNV vaccines, both approved for use in horses, were evaluated in large falcons. One vaccine contained adjuvanted inactivated WNV lineage 1 immunogens, while the second represented a canarypox recombinant live virus vector vaccine. The efficacy of different vaccination regimes for these two vaccines was assessed serologically and by challenging the falcons with a WNV strain of homologous lineage 1. Our studies show that the recombinant vaccine conveys a slightly better protection than the inactivated vaccine, but moderate (recombinant vaccine) or weak (inactivated vaccine) side effects were observed at the injection sites. Using the recommended 2-dose regimen, both vaccines elicited only sub-optimal antibody responses and gave only partial protection following WNV challenge. Better results were obtained for both vaccines after a third dose, i.e. alleviation of clinical signs, absence of fatalities and reduction of virus shedding and viraemia. Therefore the consequences of WNV infections in falcons can be clearly alleviated by vaccination, especially if the amended triple administration scheme is used, although side effects at the vaccination site must be accepted. PMID:24708385

  12. The continuous spread of West Nile virus (WNV): seroprevalence in asymptomatic horses.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Padilla, J; Loza-Rubio, E; Escribano-Romero, E; Córdoba, L; Cuevas, S; Mejía, F; Calderón, R; Milián, F; Travassos Da Rosa, A; Weaver, S C; Estrada-Franco, J G; Saiz, J C

    2009-08-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was probably introduced in southern and northern Mexico from the USA in two independent events. Since then, WNV activity has been reported in several Mexican states bordering the USA and the Gulf of Mexico, but disease manifestations seen there in humans and equids are quite different to those observed in the USA. We have analysed WNV seroprevalence in asymptomatic, unvaccinated equids from two Mexican states where no data had been previously recorded. WNV IgG antibodies were detected in 31.6% (91/288) of equine sera from Chiapas and Puebla states (53.3% and 8.0%, respectively). Analysis by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) showed good specificity (99.4%) and sensitivity (84.9%) with the ELISA results. Further analyses to detect antibodies against three different flaviviruses (WNV, St Louis encephalitis virus, Ilheus virus) by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) tests on a subset of 138 samples showed that 53% of the 83 HI-positive samples showed specific reaction to WNV. These data suggest continuous expansion of WNV through Mexico.

  13. West Nile virus infection causes endocytosis of a specific subset of tight junction membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zaikun; Waeckerlin, Regula; Urbanowski, Matt D; van Marle, Guido; Hobman, Tom C

    2012-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a blood-borne pathogen that causes systemic infections and serious neurological disease in human and animals. The most common route of infection is mosquito bites and therefore, the virus must cross a number of polarized cell layers to gain access to organ tissue and the central nervous system. Resistance to trans-cellular movement of macromolecules between epithelial and endothelial cells is mediated by tight junction complexes. While a number of recent studies have documented that WNV infection negatively impacts the barrier function of tight junctions, the intracellular mechanism by which this occurs is poorly understood. In the present study, we report that endocytosis of a subset of tight junction membrane proteins including claudin-1 and JAM-1 occurs in WNV infected epithelial and endothelial cells. This process, which ultimately results in lysosomal degradation of the proteins, is dependent on the GTPase dynamin and microtubule-based transport. Finally, infection of polarized cells with the related flavivirus, Dengue virus-2, did not result in significant loss of tight junction membrane proteins. These results suggest that neurotropic flaviviruses such as WNV modulate the host cell environment differently than hemorrhagic flaviviruses and thus may have implications for understanding the molecular basis for neuroinvasion.

  14. West Nile virus transmission: results from the integrated surveillance system in Italy, 2008 to 2015

    PubMed Central

    Rizzo, Caterina; Napoli, Christian; Venturi, Giulietta; Pupella, Simonetta; Lombardini, Letizia; Calistri, Paolo; Monaco, Federica; Cagarelli, Roberto; Angelini, Paola; Bellini, Romeo; Tamba, Marco; Piatti, Alessandra; Russo, Francesca; Palù, Giorgio; Chiari, Mario; Lavazza, Antonio; Bella, Antonino

    2016-01-01

    In Italy a national Plan for the surveillance of imported and autochthonous human vector-borne diseases (chikungunya, dengue, Zika virus disease and West Nile virus (WNV) disease) that integrates human and veterinary (animals and vectors) surveillance, is issued and revised annually according with the observed epidemiological changes. Here we describe results of the WNV integrated veterinary and human surveillance systems in Italy from 2008 to 2015. A real time data exchange protocol is in place between the surveillance systems to rapidly identify occurrence of human and animal cases and to define and update the map of affected areas i.e. provinces during the vector activity period from June to October. WNV continues to cause severe illnesses in Italy during every transmission season, albeit cases are sporadic and the epidemiology varies by virus lineage and geographic area. The integration of surveillance activities and a multidisciplinary approach made it possible and have been fundamental in supporting implementation of and/or strengthening preventive measures aimed at reducing the risk of transmission of WNV trough blood, tissues and organ donation and to implementing further measures for vector control.

  15. Natural and experimental West Nile virus infection in five raptor species.

    PubMed

    Nemeth, Nicole; Gould, Daniel; Bowen, Richard; Komar, Nicholas

    2006-01-01

    We studied the effects of natural and/or experimental infections of West Nile virus (WNV) in five raptor species from July 2002 to March 2004, including American kestrels (Falco sparverius), golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), barn owls (Tyto alba), and great horned owls (Bubo virginianus). Birds were infected per mosquito bite, per os, or percutaneously by needle. Many experimentally infected birds developed mosquito-infectious levels of viremia (>10(5) WNV plaque forming units per ml serum) within 5 days postinoculation (DPI), and/ or shed virus per os or per cloaca. Infection of organs 15-27 days postinoculation was infrequently detected by virus isolation from spleen, kidney, skin, heart, brain, and eye in convalescent birds. Histopathologic findings varied among species and by method of infection. The most common histopathologic lesions were subacute myocarditis and encephalitis. Several birds had a more acute, severe disease condition represented by arteritis and associated with tissue degeneration and necrosis. This study demonstrates that raptor species vary in their response to WNV infection and that several modes of exposure (e.g., oral) may result in infection. Wildlife managers should recognize that, although many WNV infections are sublethal to raptors, subacute lesions could potentially reduce viability of populations. We recommend that raptor handlers consider raptors as a potential source of WNV contamination due to oral and cloacal shedding. PMID:16699143

  16. Simulation studies of St. Louis encephalitis and West Nile viruses: the impact of bird mortality.

    PubMed

    Lord, C C; Day, J F

    2001-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNv) has spread through much of the eastern United States following its introduction in 1999, and arrived in Florida in 2001. Prior to its arrival, we anticipated that its transmission cycle was likely to be similar to that of St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEv). However, high levels of avian mortality have been reported for WNv in the northeastern United States, and it was unknown how this would impact the transmission dynamics of WNv. Simulation models were used to compare the two viruses by considering the impact of bird mortality on the transmission dynamics of arboviruses in south Florida. Transmission models without disease-induced mortality (SLEv) were compared with models including disease-induced mortality (WNv). Disease-induced mortality depressed transmission, eliminating epizootics in two of 14 simulations that were epizootic without the additional mortality. In both models, the most important factor in the likelihood of epizootics was mosquito population size; the mosquito mortality rate was also important. The additional avian mortality altered the factors most important in the size and timing of epizootics, although it did not always directly affect the outcome of the simulations. In some cases, low-level transmission occurred prior to the epizootic peak. When disease-induced avian mortality was included in the simulations, appreciable numbers of dead birds occurred prior to high levels of infection in mosquitoes. This has implications for the use of dead birds as a surveillance tool monitoring the spread and transmission of WNv.

  17. Neutralizing activities of human immunoglobulin derived from donors in Japan against mosquito-borne flaviviruses, Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, and dengue virus

    PubMed Central

    Yunoki, Mikihiro; Kurosu, Takeshi; Koketsu, Ritsuko Kubota; Takahashi, Kazuo; Okuno, Yoshinobu; Ikuta, Kazuyoshi

    2016-01-01

    Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), West Nile virus (WNV), and dengue virus (DenV) are causal agents of Japanese encephalitis, West Nile fever, and dengue fever, respectively. JEV is considered to be indigenized and widespread in Japan, whereas WNV and DenV are not indigenized in Japan. Globulin products seem to reflect the status of the donor population according to antivirus neutralization activity. However, the anti-JEV, -WNV, and -DenV neutralization activities of globulin products derived from donors in Japan have not been clarified. Furthermore, potential candidates for the development of an effective immunotherapeutic drug for encephalitis caused by JEV, WNV, or DenV have also not been identified. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the overall status of the donor population in Japan based on globulin products by evaluating anti-JEV, -WNV, and -DenV neutralizing activities of intravenous immunoglobulin. Overall, intravenous immunoglobulin products showed stable neutralizing activity against JEV but showed no or only weak activity against WNV or DenV. These results suggest that the epidemiological level against WNV and DenV in the donor population of Japan is still low, suggesting that these viruses are not yet indigenized. In addition, JEV vaccinations and/or infections in the donor population do not induce a cross-reactive antibody against WNV. PMID:27462140

  18. Neutralizing activities of human immunoglobulin derived from donors in Japan against mosquito-borne flaviviruses, Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, and dengue virus.

    PubMed

    Yunoki, Mikihiro; Kurosu, Takeshi; Koketsu, Ritsuko Kubota; Takahashi, Kazuo; Okuno, Yoshinobu; Ikuta, Kazuyoshi

    2016-01-01

    Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), West Nile virus (WNV), and dengue virus (DenV) are causal agents of Japanese encephalitis, West Nile fever, and dengue fever, respectively. JEV is considered to be indigenized and widespread in Japan, whereas WNV and DenV are not indigenized in Japan. Globulin products seem to reflect the status of the donor population according to antivirus neutralization activity. However, the anti-JEV, -WNV, and -DenV neutralization activities of globulin products derived from donors in Japan have not been clarified. Furthermore, potential candidates for the development of an effective immunotherapeutic drug for encephalitis caused by JEV, WNV, or DenV have also not been identified. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the overall status of the donor population in Japan based on globulin products by evaluating anti-JEV, -WNV, and -DenV neutralizing activities of intravenous immunoglobulin. Overall, intravenous immunoglobulin products showed stable neutralizing activity against JEV but showed no or only weak activity against WNV or DenV. These results suggest that the epidemiological level against WNV and DenV in the donor population of Japan is still low, suggesting that these viruses are not yet indigenized. In addition, JEV vaccinations and/or infections in the donor population do not induce a cross-reactive antibody against WNV. PMID:27462140

  19. Domestic goose as a model for West Nile virus vaccine efficacy.

    PubMed

    Sá E Silva, Mariana; Ellis, Angela; Karaca, Kemal; Minke, Jules; Nordgren, Robert; Wu, Shixuan; Swayne, David E

    2013-02-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is an emergent pathogen in the Americas, first reported in New York during 1999, and has since spread across the USA, Central and South America causing neurological disease in humans, horses and some bird species, including domestic geese. No WNV vaccines are licensed in the USA for use in geese. This study reports the development of a domestic goose vaccine efficacy model, based on utilizing multiple parameters to determine protection. To test the model, 47 geese were divided in two experiments, testing five different vaccine groups and two sham groups (challenged and unchallenged). Based on the broad range of results for individual metrics between the Challenged-Sham and Unchallenged-Sham groups, the best parameters to measure protection were Clinical Pathogenicity Index (CPI), plasma virus positive geese on days 1-4 post-inoculation and plasma virus titers, and brain histological lesion rates and severity scores. Compared to the Challenged-Sham group, the fowlpox virus vectored vaccine with inserts of WNV prM and E proteins (vFP2000) provided the best protection with significant differences in all five metrics, followed by the canarypox virus vectored vaccine with inserts of WNV prM and E proteins (vCP2018) with four metrics of protection, recombinant vCP2017 with three metrics and WNV E protein with one. These data indicate that domestic geese can be used in an efficacy model for vaccine protection studies using clinical, plasma virological and brain histopathological parameters to evaluate protection against WNV challenge.

  20. Recombinant canarypoxvirus vaccine carrying the prM/E genes of West Nile virus protects horses against a West Nile virus-mosquito challenge.

    PubMed

    Minke, J M; Siger, L; Karaca, K; Austgen, L; Gordy, P; Bowen, R; Renshaw, R W; Loosmore, S; Audonnet, J C; Nordgren, B

    2004-01-01

    An ALVAC (canarypoxvirus)-based recombinant (vCP2017) expressing the prM and E genes derived from a 1999 New York isolate of West Nile virus (WNV) was constructed and assessed for its protective efficacy in horses in two different experiments. In the first trial, a dose titration study was conducted to evaluate both serum neutralising antibody responses to WNV and duration of immunity. In the second trial the onset of protection was determined. Twenty-eight adult horses received two doses of vCP2017 administered intramuscularly at 5-week intervals and sixteen horses comprised age-matched non-vaccinated controls. Individual sera were taken periodically and tested for neutralising antibodies against WNV. Horses were challenged by allowing WNV-infected Aedes albopictus mosquitoes to feed on them two weeks (second trial) or one year (first trial) after the second vaccination. After challenge, horses were monitored for clinical signs of disease, and blood samples were collected for detection of WNV viremia and antibody. In both trials, all vaccinated horses developed neutralising antibodies against WNV. None of the vaccinated or control horses developed clinical signs of WNV disease upon challenge. None of the nine horses challenged 2 weeks after primary vaccination and only one of the ten vaccinated horses challenged 1 year after vaccination developed detectable viremia after challenge, whereas more than 80% of the controls became infected. Results from these studies demonstrated that a primary course of two doses of vCP2017 provides both antibody response and an early immunity in horses against WNV viremia.

  1. Experimental West Nile Virus Infection in Rabbits: An Alternative Model for Studying Induction of Disease and Virus Control.

    PubMed

    Suen, Willy W; Uddin, Muhammad J; Wang, Wenqi; Brown, Vienna; Adney, Danielle R; Broad, Nicole; Prow, Natalie A; Bowen, Richard A; Hall, Roy A; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle

    2015-01-01

    The economic impact of non-lethal human and equine West Nile virus (WNV) disease is substantial, since it is the most common presentation of the infection. Experimental infection with virulent WNV strains in the mouse and hamster models frequently results in severe neural infection and moderate to high mortality, both of which are not representative features of most human and equine infections. We have established a rabbit model for investigating pathogenesis and immune response of non-lethal WNV infection. Two species of rabbits, New Zealand White (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and North American cottontail (Sylvilagus sp.), were experimentally infected with virulent WNV and Murray Valley encephalitis virus strains. Infected rabbits exhibited a consistently resistant phenotype, with evidence of low viremia, minimal-absent neural infection, mild-moderate neuropathology, and the lack of mortality, even though productive virus replication occurred in the draining lymph node. The kinetics of anti-WNV neutralizing antibody response was comparable to that commonly seen in infected horses and humans. This may be explained by the early IFNα/β and/or γ response evident in the draining popliteal lymph node. Given this similarity to the human and equine disease, immunocompetent rabbits are, therefore, a valuable animal model for investigating various aspects of non-lethal WNV infections. PMID:26184326

  2. Experimental West Nile Virus Infection in Rabbits: An Alternative Model for Studying Induction of Disease and Virus Control

    PubMed Central

    Suen, Willy W.; Uddin, Muhammad J.; Wang, Wenqi; Brown, Vienna; Adney, Danielle R.; Broad, Nicole; Prow, Natalie A.; Bowen, Richard A.; Hall, Roy A.; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle

    2015-01-01

    The economic impact of non-lethal human and equine West Nile virus (WNV) disease is substantial, since it is the most common presentation of the infection. Experimental infection with virulent WNV strains in the mouse and hamster models frequently results in severe neural infection and moderate to high mortality, both of which are not representative features of most human and equine infections. We have established a rabbit model for investigating pathogenesis and immune response of non-lethal WNV infection. Two species of rabbits, New Zealand White (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and North American cottontail (Sylvilagus sp.), were experimentally infected with virulent WNV and Murray Valley encephalitis virus strains. Infected rabbits exhibited a consistently resistant phenotype, with evidence of low viremia, minimal-absent neural infection, mild-moderate neuropathology, and the lack of mortality, even though productive virus replication occurred in the draining lymph node. The kinetics of anti-WNV neutralizing antibody response was comparable to that commonly seen in infected horses and humans. This may be explained by the early IFNα/β and/or γ response evident in the draining popliteal lymph node. Given this similarity to the human and equine disease, immunocompetent rabbits are, therefore, a valuable animal model for investigating various aspects of non-lethal WNV infections. PMID:26184326

  3. Utilization of an incident command system for a public health threat: West Nile virus in Nassau County, New York, 2008.

    PubMed

    Adams, Eleanor H; Scanlon, Eileen; Callahan, James J; Carney, Maria Torroella

    2010-01-01

    The summer of 2008 in Nassau County, New York, was marked by a historic season of human West Nile virus illness and West Nile virus activity in mosquitoes. The commissioner of Health of the State of New York declared a public health threat, and a decision was made to use adulticide for mosquito control. In contrast to prior years, the Nassau County Department of Health utilized the Incident Command System (ICS) to coordinate a multidisciplinary and multidepartment response to this public health threat. Implementing the ICS ensured coordination and communication between multiple county departments and organizations in the community. The effective response demonstrated that a local health department can mobilize to meet the needs of a public health threat through the use of the ICS. Nassau County Department of Health learned that the ICS is ideal for complex, multidisciplinary operations because of its clear chain of command, transparent organization structure, and flexibility.

  4. [Investigation of West Nile virus in central nervous system infections of unknown etiology in Ankara, Turkey].

    PubMed

    Ergünay, Koray; Aydoğan, Sibel; Menemenlioğlu, Dilek; Sener, Burçin; Lederer, Sabine; Steinhagen, Katja; Hasçelik, Gülşen; Pinar, Ahmet; Ozkul, Aykut; Us, Dürdal

    2010-04-01

    Arthropod-borne viral infections have recently gained considerable attention and importance as re-emerging infections in a global scale. West Nile Virus (WNV), a member of Flaviviridae, is an enveloped positive strand RNA virus that is usually transmitted to humans by the bite of Culicine mosquitoes. Although the majority of the human infections are asymptomatic, WNV may also cause febrile and neuro-invasive diseases. Seroprevalence data from Turkey indicate that WNV activity is present in Central Anatolia. In this study performed at Hacettepe University Hospital, paired serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 87 adult patients with the preliminary diagnosis of aseptic meningitis/encephalitis of unknown etiology were evaluated retrospectively to identify WNV-related syndromes. Bacterial, fungal and mycobacterial cultures yielded negative results and Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Herpes simplex virus nucleic acid tests were also negative for the selected patients. Commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)s and indirect immunofluorescence test (IIFT)s were employed for WNV IgM and IgG antibody detection (Anti-WNV Virus IgG/IgM ELISA, Anti-WNV Virus IgG/IgM IIFT; Euroimmun, Germany). Additional ELISA/IIFT assays were further performed for WNV antibody reactive samples to identify cross-reactions and/or infections with other flaviviruses and phleboviruses. All WNV antibody positive samples were also evaluated by a WNV real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. WNV IgM and IgG antibodies were detected in %9.2 (8/87) and 3.4% (3/87) of the serum samples, respectively. All IgG reactive samples were negative for IgM. All sera with WNV antibody reactivity (n = 11) and the corresponding CSF samples were negative for viral RNA via RT-PCR. In 5 of the 8 WNV IgM positive subjects, sandfly fever virus IgM antibodies were detected, which was also accompanied by Dengue virus IgM positivity in one sample. In another case

  5. Comparison of immune responses of brown-headed cowbird and related blackbirds to west Nile and other mosquito-borne encephalitis viruses.

    PubMed

    Reisen, William K; Hahn, D Caldwell

    2007-07-01

    The rapid geographic spread of West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) across the United States has stimulated interest in comparative host infection studies to delineate competent avian hosts critical for viral amplification. We compared the host competence of four taxonomically related blackbird species (Icteridae) after experimental infection with WNV and with two endemic, mosquito-borne encephalitis viruses, western equine encephalomyelitis virus (family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus, WEEV), and St. Louis encephalitis virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, SLEV). We predicted differences in disease resistance among the blackbird species based on differences in life history, because they differ in geographic range and life history traits that include mating and breeding systems. Differences were observed among the response of these hosts to all three viruses. Red-winged Blackbirds were more susceptible to SLEV than Brewer's Blackbirds, whereas Brewer's Blackbirds were more susceptible to WEEV than Red-winged Blackbirds. In response to WNV infection, cowbirds showed the lowest mean viremias, cleared their infections faster, and showed lower antibody levels than concurrently infected species. Brown-headed Cowbirds also exhibited significantly lower viremia responses after infection with SLEV and WEEV as well as coinfection with WEEV and WNV than concurrently infected icterids. We concluded that cowbirds may be more resistant to infection to both native and introduced viruses because they experience heightened exposure to a variety of pathogens of parenting birds during the course of their parasitic life style.

  6. Comparison of immune responses of brown-headed cowbird and related blackbirds to West Nile and other mosquito-borne encephalitis viruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reisen, W.K.; Hahn, D.C.

    2007-01-01

    The rapid geographic spread of West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) across the United States has stimulated interest in comparative host infection studies to delineate competent avian hosts critical for viral amplification. We compared the host competence of four taxonomically related blackbird species (Icteridae) after experimental infection with WNV and with two endemic, mosquito-borne encephalitis viruses, western equine encephalomyelitis virus (family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus, WEEV), and St, Louis encephalitis virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, SLEV). We predicted differences in disease resistance among the blackbird species based on differences in life history, because they differ in geographic range and life history traits that include mating and breeding systems. Differences were observed among the response of these hosts to all three viruses, Red-winged Blackbirds were more susceptible to SLEV than Brewer's Blackbirds, whereas Brewer's Blackbirds were more susceptible to WEEV than Red-winged Blackbirds. In response to WNV infection, cowbirds showed the lowest mean viremias, cleared their infections faster, and showed lower antibody levels than concurrently infected species. Brown-headed Cowbirds also exhibited significantly lower viremia responses after infection with SLEV and WEEV as well as coinfection with WEEV and WNV than concurrently infected icterids. We concluded that cowbirds may be more resistant to infection to both native and introduced viruses because they experience heightened exposure to a variety of pathogens of parenting birds during the course of their parasitic life style.

  7. Passive transfer of maternal antibodies to West Nile virus in flamingo chicks (Phoenicopterus chilensis and Phoenicopterus ruber ruber).

    PubMed

    Baitchman, Eric J; Tlusty, Michael F; Murphy, Hayley W

    2007-06-01

    Passive transfer of maternal antibodies against West Nile virus (WNV) was studied in a captive population of Chilean (Phoenicopterus chilensis) and Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber). Transfer of WNV antibodies from hens to chicks was documented and measured by plaque-reduction neutralization test. Hen titers were significantly correlated to chick titers. Mean half-life of maternal WNV antibodies was 13.4 days in chicks for which half-life was measurable.

  8. Identification of Climatic Factors Affecting the Epidemiology of Human West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Greece.

    PubMed

    Stilianakis, Nikolaos I; Syrris, Vasileios; Petroliagkis, Thomas; Pärt, Peeter; Gewehr, Sandra; Kalaitzopoulou, Stella; Mourelatos, Spiros; Baka, Agoritsa; Pervanidou, Danai; Vontas, John; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Climate can affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of vector-borne disease incidence such as West Nile Virus (WNV) infections. We explore the association between climatic factors and the occurrence of West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile neuro-invasive disease (WNND) in humans in Northern Greece over the years 2010-2014. Time series over a period of 30 years (1979-2008) of climatic data of air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, volumetric soil water content, wind speed, and precipitation representing average climate were obtained utilising the ECMWF's (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) system allowing for a homogeneous set of data in time and space. We analysed data of reported human cases of WNF/WNND and Culex mosquitoes in Northern Greece. Quantitative assessment resulted in identifying associations between the above climatic variables and reported human cases of WNF/WNND. A substantial fraction of the cases was linked to the upper percentiles of the distribution of air and soil temperature for the period 1979-2008 and the lower percentiles of relative humidity and soil water content. A statistically relevant relationship between the mean weekly value climatic anomalies of wind speed (negative association), relative humidity (negative association) and air temperature (positive association) over 30 years, and reported human cases of WNF/WNND during the period 2010-2014 could be shown. A negative association between the presence of WNV infected Culex mosquitoes and wind speed could be identified. The statistically significant associations could also be confirmed for the week the WNF/WNND human cases appear and when a time lag of up to three weeks was considered. Similar statistically significant associations were identified with the weekly anomalies of the maximum and minimum values of the above climatic factors. Utilising the ERA-Interim re-analysis methodology it could be shown that besides air

  9. Identification of Climatic Factors Affecting the Epidemiology of Human West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Greece.

    PubMed

    Stilianakis, Nikolaos I; Syrris, Vasileios; Petroliagkis, Thomas; Pärt, Peeter; Gewehr, Sandra; Kalaitzopoulou, Stella; Mourelatos, Spiros; Baka, Agoritsa; Pervanidou, Danai; Vontas, John; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Climate can affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of vector-borne disease incidence such as West Nile Virus (WNV) infections. We explore the association between climatic factors and the occurrence of West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile neuro-invasive disease (WNND) in humans in Northern Greece over the years 2010-2014. Time series over a period of 30 years (1979-2008) of climatic data of air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, volumetric soil water content, wind speed, and precipitation representing average climate were obtained utilising the ECMWF's (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) system allowing for a homogeneous set of data in time and space. We analysed data of reported human cases of WNF/WNND and Culex mosquitoes in Northern Greece. Quantitative assessment resulted in identifying associations between the above climatic variables and reported human cases of WNF/WNND. A substantial fraction of the cases was linked to the upper percentiles of the distribution of air and soil temperature for the period 1979-2008 and the lower percentiles of relative humidity and soil water content. A statistically relevant relationship between the mean weekly value climatic anomalies of wind speed (negative association), relative humidity (negative association) and air temperature (positive association) over 30 years, and reported human cases of WNF/WNND during the period 2010-2014 could be shown. A negative association between the presence of WNV infected Culex mosquitoes and wind speed could be identified. The statistically significant associations could also be confirmed for the week the WNF/WNND human cases appear and when a time lag of up to three weeks was considered. Similar statistically significant associations were identified with the weekly anomalies of the maximum and minimum values of the above climatic factors. Utilising the ERA-Interim re-analysis methodology it could be shown that besides air

  10. Identification of Climatic Factors Affecting the Epidemiology of Human West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Greece

    PubMed Central

    Stilianakis, Nikolaos I.; Syrris, Vasileios; Petroliagkis, Thomas; Pärt, Peeter; Gewehr, Sandra; Kalaitzopoulou, Stella; Mourelatos, Spiros; Baka, Agoritsa; Pervanidou, Danai; Vontas, John; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Climate can affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of vector-borne disease incidence such as West Nile Virus (WNV) infections. We explore the association between climatic factors and the occurrence of West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile neuro-invasive disease (WNND) in humans in Northern Greece over the years 2010–2014. Time series over a period of 30 years (1979–2008) of climatic data of air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, volumetric soil water content, wind speed, and precipitation representing average climate were obtained utilising the ECMWF’s (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) system allowing for a homogeneous set of data in time and space. We analysed data of reported human cases of WNF/WNND and Culex mosquitoes in Northern Greece. Quantitative assessment resulted in identifying associations between the above climatic variables and reported human cases of WNF/WNND. A substantial fraction of the cases was linked to the upper percentiles of the distribution of air and soil temperature for the period 1979–2008 and the lower percentiles of relative humidity and soil water content. A statistically relevant relationship between the mean weekly value climatic anomalies of wind speed (negative association), relative humidity (negative association) and air temperature (positive association) over 30 years, and reported human cases of WNF/WNND during the period 2010–2014 could be shown. A negative association between the presence of WNV infected Culex mosquitoes and wind speed could be identified. The statistically significant associations could also be confirmed for the week the WNF/WNND human cases appear and when a time lag of up to three weeks was considered. Similar statistically significant associations were identified with the weekly anomalies of the maximum and minimum values of the above climatic factors. Utilising the ERA-Interim re-analysis methodology it could be shown that besides

  11. A comparison of West Nile virus surveillance using survival analyses of dead corvid and mosquito pool data in Ontario, 2002-2008.

    PubMed

    Thomas-Bachli, Andrea L; Pearl, David L; Berke, Olaf; Parmley, Elizabeth Jane; Barker, Ian K

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to improve understanding of the relative performance of the use of dead wild corvids and mosquito pools infected with West Nile virus (WNv) in surveillance for WNv activity in the environment. To this end, all records on dead corvid submissions and mosquito pools tested in Public Health Units (PHUs) in Ontario, from 2002 to 2008, were explored. Survival analyses were employed using the first-WNv-positive cases detected each year for each PHU, and censored observations for PHUs which did not detect WNv during a given year using each data source (504 observations). Survival analyses were employed to compare the number of surveillance weeks before WNv was detected by either data source, and the influence of temporal, geographic and sociodemographic factors on these data. The outcome measurement for the final accelerated failure time (AFT) model with log-logistic distribution was a time ratio, which represents the ratio of the survival time of one group relative to another. Dead corvid surveillance was faster at detecting WNv than testing mosquito pools during the early years of WNv incursion into Ontario, while mosquito testing found WNv more quickly later in the study period. There was also regional variation in time-to-detection of WNv, by modality, as well as for various types of urban/rural settings. In comparison to mosquito surveillance, West Nile virus was detected more quickly using dead corvid surveillance in sparsely populated regions. These areas may benefit from collection of dead corvids to optimize detection and direct early surveillance efforts. When we compared the time-to-detection of WNv using dead corvids and the onset of human cases in PHUs, we found that dead corvid surveillance was predictive of West Nile activity in health units that reported human cases during the first 3 years of the incursion into Ontario.

  12. Persistent West Nile virus transmission and the apparent displacement St. Louis encephalitis virus in southeastern California, 2003-2006.

    PubMed

    Reisen, William K; Lothrop, Hugh D; Wheeler, Sarah S; Kennsington, Marc; Gutierrez, Arturo; Fang, Ying; Garcia, Sandra; Lothrop, Branka

    2008-05-01

    West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) invaded the Colorado Desert biome of southern California during summer 2003 and seemed to displace previously endemic St. Louis encephalitis virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, SLEV, an antigenically similar Flavivirus in the Japanese encephalitis virus serocomplex). Western equine encephalomyelitis virus (family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus, WEEV), an antigenically distinct Alphavirus, was detected during 2005 and 2006, indicating that conditions were suitable for encephalitis virus introduction and detection. Cross-protective "avian herd immunity" due to WNV infection possibly may have prevented SLEV reintroduction and/or amplification to detectable levels. During 2003-2006, WNV was consistently active at wetlands and agricultural habitats surrounding the Salton Sea where Culex tarsalis Coquillett served as the primary enzootic maintenance and amplification vector. Based on published laboratory infection studies and the current seroprevalence estimates, house sparrows, house finches, and several Ardeidae may have been important avian amplifying hosts in this region. Transmission efficiency may have been dampened by high infection rates in incompetent avian hosts, including Gamble's quail, mourning doves, common ground doves, and domestic pigeons. Early season WNV amplification and dispersal from North Shore in the southeastern portion of the Coachella Valley resulted in sporadic WNV incursions into the urbanized Upper Valley near Palm Springs, where Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus Say was the primary enzootic and bridge vector. Although relatively few human cases were detected during the 2003-2006 period, all were concentrated in the Upper Valley and were associated with high human population density and WNV infection in peridomestic populations of Cx. p. quinquefasciatus. Intensive early mosquito control during 2006 seemed to interrupt and delay transmission, perhaps setting the stage for the

  13. West Nile virus infection and serologic response among persons previously vaccinated against yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis viruses.

    PubMed

    Johnson, B W; Kosoy, O; Martin, D A; Noga, A J; Russell, B J; Johnson, A A; Petersen, L R

    2005-01-01

    It is hypothesized that previous heterologous flaviviral exposure may modulate clinical illness among persons infected with West Nile virus (WNV). Little is known about the serological response in such persons. In summer 2003, a WNV outbreak occurred in Colorado, the location of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID). DVBID employees, most previously vaccinated with yellow fever virus (YFV) or Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) vaccines, were studied to determine whether previous vaccination affected symptom development among those subsequently infected with WNV during the outbreak, as well as their serological response. Serum samples collected in December 2003 and previously banked samples were tested using the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) against WNV, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, dengue- 4 virus, JEV, and YFV. Specimens shown to have WNV antibody by PRNT were tested by IgM and IgG enzymelinked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Ten (9%) of 113 serosurvey participants had WNV neutralizing antibody titers in December 2003. PRNT titers from previous specimens showed that one of the ten had seroconverted to WNV before 2003. Of the remaining nine participants, seven reported illness in the summer of 2003, two of which were unvaccinated and five previously vaccinated. In the December 2003 specimens, five persons previously unvaccinated or vaccinated only against YFV had a fourfold or greater neutralizing titer with WNV than with other flaviviruses, whereas no persons previously vaccinated against JEV or JEV and YFV showed a similar difference in neutralizing titers. Eight of nine persons infected in 2003 had negative or indeterminate WNV MAC-ELISA results in the December 2003 sample; the ninth person was vaccinated against YFV one month previously, and was also YFV positive by MAC-ELISA. We conclude that previous flaviviral vaccination does not markedly affect the development of WNV fever and

  14. Persistent West Nile Virus Transmission and the Apparent Displacement St. Louis Encephalitis Virus in Southeastern California, 2003−2006

    PubMed Central

    REISEN, WILLIAM K.; LOTHROP, HUGH D.; WHEELER, SARAH S.; KENNSINGTON, MARC; GUTIERREZ, ARTURO; FANG, YING; GARCIA, SANDRA; LOTHROP, BRANKA

    2008-01-01

    West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) invaded the Colorado Desert biome of southern California during summer 2003 and seemed to displace previously endemic St. Louis encephalitis virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, SLEV, an antigenically similar Flavivirus in the Japanese encephalitis virus serocomplex). Western equine encephalomyelitis virus (family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus, WEEV), an antigenically distinct Alphavirus, was detected during 2005 and 2006, indicating that conditions were suitable for encephalitis virus introduction and detection. Cross-protective “avian herd immunity” due to WNV infection possibly may have prevented SLEV reintroduction and/or amplification to detectable levels. During 2003−2006, WNV was consistently active at wetlands and agricultural habitats surrounding the Salton Sea where Culex tarsalis Coquillett served as the primary enzootic maintenance and amplification vector. Based on published laboratory infection studies and the current seroprevalence estimates, house sparrows, house finches, and several Ardeidae may have been important avian amplifying hosts in this region. Transmission efficiency may have been dampened by high infection rates in incompetent avian hosts, including Gamble's quail, mourning doves, common ground doves, and domestic pigeons. Early season WNV amplification and dispersal from North Shore in the southeastern portion of the Coachella Valley resulted in sporadic WNV incursions into the urbanized Upper Valley near Palm Springs, where Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus Say was the primary enzootic and bridge vector. Although relatively few human cases were detected during the 2003−2006 period, all were concentrated in the Upper Valley and were associated with high human population density and WNV infection in peridomestic populations of Cx. p. quinquefasciatus. Intensive early mosquito control during 2006 seemed to interrupt and delay transmission, perhaps setting the stage

  15. Testing a West Nile virus vaccine in sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsen, G.H.; Miller, K.; Docherty, D.; Sileo, L.; Chavez-Ramirez, Felipe

    2005-01-01

    Eight sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) were vaccinated with a commercial equine West Nile virus vaccine (Fort Dodge Animal Health, Fort Dodge, Iowa, USA) at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland, USA. Three doses of the vaccine were given, the first dose (day 0) was followed by a second 21 days later and the third dose 7 days after the second day 28 after the first dose). All doses were 0.50 ml. In addition, 5 sandhill cranes were given injections of similar amounts of sterile water on the same schedule. Blood for complete blood counts, serum chemistries, and serological testing was collected at weekly intervals. Ten weeks after the first injection of the vaccine and 6 weeks after the last of the 3 injections of the vaccine, the cranes were shipped to the USGS National Wildlife Heath Center, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. After a two-week adjustment period, 11 of these cranes were injected intramuscularly with one mosquito dose of West Nile virus. Two of the vaccinated cranes were not challenged and acted as uninfected controls. One week post challenge the only abnormal findings were slight weight loss (average 6% loss since the time of challenge with West Nile virus) and elevated white blood cell counts (heterophilic leukocytosis). There were no deaths and no clinically ill cranes (unvaccinated or vaccinated cranes) among the 11 challenged birds. All cranes were euthanized 6 weeks post challenge, and necropsies were performed. Pre-challenge titers showed no titer response to the vaccinations. However, when challenged, vaccinated cranes developed titers more quickly (within 7-10 days), and were viremic and shed virus via the cloaca for a shorter period of time than the unvaccinated cranes (2-7 days for vaccinated cranes versus 2-10 days for unvaccinated cranes). No remarkable lesions were noted in any of the cranes during the necropsy examinations. Histopathological findings are available for only four of the cranes at this time. Three of those

  16. Classification and flow prediction in a data-scarce watershed of the Equatorial Nile region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kileshye Onema, J.-M.; Taigbenu, A.; Ndiritu, J.

    2011-04-01

    Continuous developments and investigations in flow prediction are of interest in watershed hydrology especially where watercourses are poorly gauged and data are scarce like in most parts of Africa. Thus, this paper reports on two approaches to generate local monthly runoff of the data-scarce Semliki watershed. The Semliki River is part of the upper drainage of the Albert Nile. With an average annual local runoff of 4.622 km3, the Semliki watershed contributes up to 20% of the flows of the White Nile. The watershed was sub-divided in 21 subcatchments (S3 to S23); eight physiographic attributes from remotely sensed acquired datasets and limited ground information were generated for each subcatchments and used to forecast monthly volumes. One ordination technique, the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the tree clustering analysis of the landform attributes was performed to study the data structure and spot physiographic similarities between subcatchments. The PCA revealed the existence of two major groups of subcatchments. Multi-linear and polynomial regressions were the two modeling approaches used to predict the long-term monthly mean of discharges for the two types of subcatchments identified in the Semliki watershed. The ranges of multiple R, the multiple R2, and the adjusted R2 for the multi-linear and the polynomial models were, respectively 0.96-0.99; 0.93-0.99 and 0.92-0.99. The linearity assumption provided less accurate predictions.

  17. Changing patterns of West Nile virus transmission: altered vector competence and host susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Brault, Aaron C

    2009-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus (Flaviviridae) transmitted between Culex spp. mosquitoes and avian hosts. The virus has dramatically expanded its geographic range in the past ten years. Increases in global commerce, climate change, ecological factors and the emergence of novel viral genotypes likely play significant roles in the emergence of this virus; however, the exact mechanism and relative importance of each is uncertain. Previously WNV was primarily associated with febrile illness of children in endemic areas, but it was identified as a cause of neurological disease in humans in 1994. This modulation in disease presentation could be the result of the emergence of a more virulent genotype as well as the progression of the virus into areas in which the age structure of immunologically naïve individuals makes them more susceptible to severe neurological disease. Since its introduction to North America in 1999, a novel WNV genotype has been identified that has been demonstrated to disseminate more rapidly and with greater efficiency at elevated temperatures than the originally introduced strain, indicating the potential importance of temperature as a selective criteria for the emergence of WNV genotypes with increased vectorial capacity. Even prior to the North American introduction, a mutation associated with increased replication in avian hosts, identified to be under adaptive evolutionary pressure, has been identified, indicating that adaptation for increased replication within vertebrate hosts could play a role in increased transmission efficiency. Although stable in its evolutionary structure, WNV has demonstrated the capacity for rapidly adapting to both vertebrate hosts and invertebrate vectors and will likely continue to exploit novel ecological niches as it adapts to novel transmission foci.

  18. West Nile Virus Replication Requires Fatty Acid Synthesis but Is Independent on Phosphatidylinositol-4-Phosphate Lipids

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Acebes, Miguel A.; Blázquez, Ana-Belén; Jiménez de Oya, Nereida; Escribano-Romero, Estela; Saiz, Juan-Carlos

    2011-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurovirulent mosquito-borne flavivirus, which main natural hosts are birds but it also infects equines and humans, among other mammals. As in the case of other plus-stranded RNA viruses, WNV replication is associated to intracellular membrane rearrangements. Based on results obtained with a variety of viruses, different cellular processes have been shown to play important roles on these membrane rearrangements for efficient viral replication. As these processes are related to lipid metabolism, fatty acid synthesis, as well as generation of a specific lipid microenvironment enriched in phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI4P), has been associated to it in other viral models. In this study, intracellular membrane rearrangements following infection with a highly neurovirulent strain of WNV were addressed by means of electron and confocal microscopy. Infection of WNV, and specifically viral RNA replication, were dependent on fatty acid synthesis, as revealed by the inhibitory effect of cerulenin and C75, two pharmacological inhibitors of fatty acid synthase, a key enzyme of this process. However, WNV infection did not induce redistribution of PI4P lipids, and PI4P did not localize at viral replication complex. Even more, WNV multiplication was not inhibited by the use of the phosphatidylinositol-4-kinase inhibitor PIK93, while infection by the enterovirus Coxsackievirus B5 was reduced. Similar features were found when infection by other flavivirus, the Usutu virus (USUV), was analyzed. These features of WNV replication could help to design specific antiviral approaches against WNV and other related flaviviruses. PMID:21949814

  19. Changing patterns of West Nile virus transmission: altered vector competence and host susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Brault, Aaron C.

    2009-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus (Flaviviridae) transmitted between Culex spp. mosquitoes and avian hosts. The virus has dramatically expanded its geographic range in the past ten years. Increases in global commerce, climate change, ecological factors and the emergence of novel viral genotypes likely play significant roles in the emergence of this virus; however, the exact mechanism and relative importance of each is uncertain. Previously WNV was primarily associated with febrile illness of children in endemic areas, but it was identified as a cause of neurological disease in humans in 1994. This modulation in disease presentation could be the result of the emergence of a more virulent genotype as well as the progression of the virus into areas in which the age structure of immunologically naïve individuals makes them more susceptible to severe neurological disease. Since its introduction to North America in 1999, a novel WNV genotype has been identified that has been demonstrated to disseminate more rapidly and with greater efficiency at elevated temperatures than the originally introduced strain, indicating the potential importance of temperature as a selective criteria for the emergence of WNV genotypes with increased vectorial capacity. Even prior to the North American introduction, a mutation associated with increased replication in avian hosts, identified to be under adaptive evolutionary pressure, has been identified, indicating that adaptation for increased replication within vertebrate hosts could play a role in increased transmission efficiency. Although stable in its evolutionary structure, WNV has demonstrated the capacity for rapidly adapting to both vertebrate hosts and invertebrate vectors and will likely continue to exploit novel ecological niches as it adapts to novel transmission foci. PMID:19406093

  20. Identification of Genes Critical for Resistance to Infection by West Nile Virus Using RNA-Seq Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Feng; Chung, Lisa; Zheng, Wei; Bruno, Vincent; Alexander, Roger P.; Wang, Zhong; Wang, Xiaomei; Kurscheid, Sebastian; Zhao, Hongyu; Fikrig, Erol; Gerstein, Mark; Snyder, Michael; Montgomery, Ruth R.

    2013-01-01

    The West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging infection of biodefense concern and there are no available treatments or vaccines. Here we used a high-throughput method based on a novel gene expression analysis, RNA-Seq, to give a global picture of differential gene expression by primary human macrophages of 10 healthy donors infected in vitro with WNV. From a total of 28 million reads per sample, we identified 1,514 transcripts that were differentially expressed after infection. Both predicted and novel gene changes were detected, as were gene isoforms, and while many of the genes were expressed by all donors, some were unique. Knock-down of genes not previously known to be associated with WNV resistance identified their critical role in control of viral infection. Our study distinguishes both common gene pathways as well as novel cellular responses. Such analyses will be valuable for translational studies of susceptible and resistant individuals—and for targeting therapeutics—in multiple biological settings. PMID:23881275

  1. Toll-Like Receptor-3 Is Dispensable for the Innate MicroRNA Response to West Nile Virus (WNV)

    PubMed Central

    Chugh, Pauline E.; Damania, Blossom A.; Dittmer, Dirk P.

    2014-01-01

    The innate immune response to West Nile virus (WNV) infection involves recognition through toll-like receptors (TLRs) and RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs), leading to establishment of an antiviral state. MiRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to be reliable biomarkers of TLR activation. Here, we sought to evaluate the contribution of TLR3 and miRNAs to the host response to WNV infection. We first analyzed HEK293-NULL and HEK293-TLR3 cells for changes in the innate immune response to infection. The presence of TLR3 did not seem to affect WNV load, infectivity or phosphorylation of IRF3. Analysis of experimentally validated NFκB-responsive genes revealed a WNV-induced signature largely independent of TLR3. Since miRNAs are involved in viral pathogenesis and the innate response to infection, we sought to identify changes in miRNA expression upon infection in the presence or absence of TLR3. MiRNA profiling revealed 70 miRNAs induced following WNV infection in a TLR3-independent manner. Further analysis of predicted gene targets of WNV signature miRNAs revealed genes highly associated with pathways regulating cell death, viral pathogenesis and immune cell trafficking. PMID:25127040

  2. Real time PCR assay for detection of all known lineages of West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, Ana; Herrero, Laura; Negredo, Anabel; Hernández, Lourdes; Sánchez-Seco, María Paz; Tenorio, Antonio

    2016-10-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is one of the most widespread arbovirus and a large variety of WNV strains and lineages have been described. The molecular methods for the diagnosis of WNV target mainly lineages 1 and 2, which have caused outbreaks in humans, equines and birds. But the last few years new and putative WNV lineages of unknown pathogenicity have been described. Here we describe a new sensitive and specific real-time PCR assay for the detection and quantification of all the WNV lineages described until now. Primers and probe were designed in the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of the WNV genome and were designed to match all sequenced WNV strains perfectly. The sensitivity of the assay ranged from 1,5 to 15 copies per reaction depending on the WNV lineage tested. The method was validated for WNV diagnosis using different viral strains, human samples (cerebrospinal fluid, biopsies, serum and plasma) and mosquito pools. The assay did not amplify any other phylogenetically or symptomatically related viruses. All of the above make it a very suitable tool for the diagnosis of WNV and for surveillance studies. PMID:27481597

  3. Serologic evidence of West Nile virus infection in three wild raptor populations.

    PubMed

    Stout, William E; Cassini, Andrew G; Meece, Jennifer K; Papp, Joseph M; Rosenfield, Robert N; Reed, Kurt D

    2005-09-01

    We assayed for West Nile virus (WNV) antibodies to determine the presence and prevalence of WNV infection in three raptor populations in southeast Wisconsin during 2003-04. This study was conducted in the framework of ongoing population studies that started before WNV was introduced to the study area. For 354 samples, 88% of 42 adult Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii), 2.1% of 96 nestling Cooper's hawks, 9.2% of 141 nestling red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), and 12% of 73 nestling great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) tested positive for WNV antibodies by the constant virus-serum dilution neutralization test. Samples that tested positive for WNV antibodies were collected across a wide variety of habitat types, including urban habitats (both high and low density), roads, parking areas, recreational areas, croplands, pastures, grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands. Based on the increased prevalence and significantly higher WNV antibody titers in adults compared with nestlings, we suggest that nestlings with detectable antibody levels acquired these antibodies through passive transmission from the mother during egg production. Low levels of WNV antibodies in nestlings could serve as a surrogate marker of exposure in adult raptor populations. Based on breeding population densities and reproductive success over the past 15 yr, we found no apparent adverse effects of WNV infections on these wild raptor populations. PMID:16252490

  4. Raptor mortality due to West Nile virus in the United States, 2002.

    PubMed

    Saito, Emi K; Sileo, Louis; Green, D Earl; Meteyer, Carol U; McLaughlin, Grace S; Converse, Kathryn A; Docherty, Douglas E

    2007-04-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has affected many thousands of birds since it was first detected in North America in 1999, but the overall impact on wild bird populations is unknown. In mid-August 2002, wildlife rehabilitators and local wildlife officials from multiple states began reporting increasing numbers of sick and dying raptors, mostly red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) and great horned owls (Bubo virginianus). Commonly reported clinical signs were nonspecific and included emaciation, lethargy, weakness, inability to perch, fly or stand, and nonresponse to danger. Raptor carcasses from 12 states were received, and diagnostic evaluation of 56 raptors implicated WNV infection in 40 (71%) of these cases. Histologically, nonsuppurative encephalitis and myocarditis were the salient lesions (79% and 61%, respectively). Other causes of death included lead poisoning, trauma, aspergillosis, and Salmonella spp. and Clostridium spp. infections. The reason(s) for the reported increase in raptor mortality due to WNV in 2002 compared with the previous WNV seasons is unclear, and a better understanding of the epizootiology and pathogenesis of the virus in raptor populations is needed. PMID:17495304

  5. Regional and seasonal response of a West Nile virus vector to climate change.

    PubMed

    Morin, Cory W; Comrie, Andrew C

    2013-09-24

    Climate change will affect the abundance and seasonality of West Nile virus (WNV) vectors, altering the risk of virus transmission to humans. Using downscaled general circulation model output, we calculate a WNV vector's response to climate change across the southern United States using process-based modeling. In the eastern United States, Culex quinquefasciatus response to projected climate change displays a latitudinal and elevational gradient. Projected summer population depressions as a result of increased immature mortality and habitat drying are most severe in the south and almost absent further north; extended spring and fall survival is ubiquitous. Much of California also exhibits a bimodal pattern. Projected onset of mosquito season is delayed in the southwestern United States because of extremely dry and hot spring and summers; however, increased temperature and late summer and fall rains extend the mosquito season. These results are unique in being a broad-scale calculation of the projected impacts of climate change on a WNV vector. The results show that, despite projected widespread future warming, the future seasonal response of C. quinquefasciatus populations across the southern United States will not be homogeneous, and will depend on specific combinations of local and regional conditions.

  6. Outbreaks of West Nile virus in captive waterfowl in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Cox, Sherri L; Campbell, G Douglas; Nemeth, Nicole M

    2015-01-01

    The detrimental effects of West Nile virus (WNV) have been well characterized in several taxonomic groups of North American birds, such as corvids and raptors. Relatively less is known about the virus' effects in waterfowl species, many of which are abundant in North America and occupy habitats, for example wetlands and marshes, likely to harbour dense mosquito populations. In two successive years, outbreaks of WNV-associated disease were observed in waterfowl at a rehabilitation centre. In the present report, clinical and pathological findings are provided for seven mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and one Canada goose (Branta canadensis) that developed acute disease and either died or were killed humanely. The most severe and consistent microscopic lesion in mallards was myocardial degeneration and coagulative necrosis consistent with acute heart failure. The Canada goose had necrotizing myocarditis. Other lesions included pulmonary perivascular oedema, lymphoplasmacytic hepatitis, and splenic and bursal lymphoid depletion. WNV infection was confirmed using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining. Myofibres within all cardiac muscle layers had positive immunohistochemical staining, as did blood vessel walls in the heart and spleen. These results suggest that juvenile mallards are highly susceptible to fatal WNV-associated cardiac failure, and confirm that adult Canada geese are susceptible to fatal WNV-associated disease. The synchronous timing of clinical disease and death in these waterfowl are consistent with WNV mosquito-borne infections within a WNV transmission focus during the summer (July and August) of 2012 and 2013. PMID:25636141

  7. SURVEY FOR WEST NILE VIRUS ANTIBODIES IN WILD DUCKS, 2004-06, USA.

    PubMed

    Hofmeister, Erik K; Jankowski, Mark D; Goldberg, Diana; Franson, J Christian

    2016-04-28

    Detection of West Nile virus (WNV) in ducks has been reported in North America in isolated cases of mortality in wild waterbirds and following outbreaks in farmed ducks. Although the virus has been noted as an apparent incidental finding in several species of ducks, little is known about the prevalence of exposure or the outcome of infection with WNV in wild ducks in North America. From 2004-06, we collected sera from 1,406 wild-caught American Wigeon ( Anas americana ), Mallard ( Anas platyrhynchos ), and Northern Pintail ( Anas acuta ) ducks at national wildlife refuges (NWRs) in North Dakota and Wood Ducks ( Aix sponsa ) at NWRs in South Carolina and Tennessee. We measured the prevalence of previous exposure to WNV in these ducks by measuring WNV antibodies and evaluated variation in exposure among species, age, and year. Additionally, we evaluated the performance of a commercial antibody to wild bird immunoglobulin in duck species that varied in their phylogenetic relatedness to the bird species the antibody was directed against. As determined by a screening immunoassay and a confirmatory plaque reduction neutralization assay, the prevalence of WNV antibody was 10%. In light of experimental studies that show ducks to be relatively resistant to mortality caused by WNV, the antibody prevalence we detected suggests that wild ducks may be less-frequently exposed to WNV than expected for birds inhabiting wetlands where they may acquire infection from mosquitoes. PMID:26981693

  8. Protective efficacy of a recombinant subunit West Nile virus vaccine in domestic geese (Anser anser)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarvi, S.I.; Lieberman, M.M.; Hofmeister, E.; Nerurkar, V.R.; Wong, T.; Weeks-Levy, C.

    2008-01-01

    Introduction of the West Nile virus (WNV) to Hawai'i will undoubtedly devastate many populations of critically endangered avian species indigenous to Hawai'i. The protective efficacy of a protein-based WNV subunit vaccine formulated with adjuvant was evaluated in domestic geese as a surrogate species for the endangered Ne??ne??, the state bird of Hawai'i. Prevention of viremia following viral infection of vaccinated birds was used as the clinical endpoint of protection. ELISA and plaque reduction neutralization tests demonstrate that significant levels of vaccine antigen-specific antibody were produced in groups of birds vaccinated with 5 or 10 ??g of the WN-80E antigen formulated with ISA720 adjuvant. Moreover, after challenge with WNV, no viremia was detected in vaccinated birds, whereas viremia was detected up to 4 days after and virus was detected by oral swab for 6 days after infection among control groups. Safe and effective vaccination of managed or captive endangered bird populations will protect species with critically low numbers that could not survive the added mortality of introduced disease. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Oral and parenteral immunization of chickens (Gallus gallus) against West Nile virus with recombinant envelope protein

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fassbinder-Orth, C. A.; Hofmeister, E.K.; Weeks-Levy, C.; Karasov, W.H.

    2009-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) causes morbidity and mortality in humans, horses, and in more than 315 bird species in North America. Currently approved WNV vaccines are designed for parenteral administration and, as yet, no effective oral WNV vaccines have been developed. WNV envelope (E) protein is a highly antigenic protein that elicits the majority of virus-neutralizing antibodies during a WNV immune response. Leghorn chickens were given three vaccinations (each 2 wk apart) of E protein orally (20 ??g or 100 ??g/dose), of E protein intramuscularly (IM, 20 ??g/dose), or of adjuvant only (control group) followed by a WNV challenge. Viremias were measured post-WNV infection, and three new enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were developed for quantifying IgM, IgY, and IgA-mediated immune response of birds following WNV infection. WNV viremia levels were significantly lower in the IM group than in both oral groups and the control group. Total WNV E protein-specific IgY production was significantly greater, and WNV nonstructural 1-specific IgY was significantly less, in the IM group compared to all other treatment groups. The results of this study indicate that IM vaccination of chickens with E protein is protective against WNV infection and results in a significantly different antibody production profile as compared to both orally vaccinated and nonvaccinated birds. ?? 2009 American Association of Avian Pathologists.

  10. A CRISPR-Based Screen Identifies Genes Essential for West-Nile-Virus-Induced Cell Death.

    PubMed

    Ma, Hongming; Dang, Ying; Wu, Yonggan; Jia, Gengxiang; Anaya, Edgar; Zhang, Junli; Abraham, Sojan; Choi, Jang-Gi; Shi, Guojun; Qi, Ling; Manjunath, N; Wu, Haoquan

    2015-07-28

    West Nile virus (WNV) causes an acute neurological infection attended by massive neuronal cell death. However, the mechanism(s) behind the virus-induced cell death is poorly understood. Using a library containing 77,406 sgRNAs targeting 20,121 genes, we performed a genome-wide screen followed by a second screen with a sub-library. Among the genes identified, seven genes, EMC2, EMC3, SEL1L, DERL2, UBE2G2, UBE2J1, and HRD1, stood out as having the strongest phenotype, whose knockout conferred strong protection against WNV-induced cell death with two different WNV strains and in three cell lines. Interestingly, knockout of these genes did not block WNV replication. Thus, these appear to be essential genes that link WNV replication to downstream cell death pathway(s). In addition, the fact that all of these genes belong to the ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathway suggests that this might be the primary driver of WNV-induced cell death.

  11. Experimental West Nile virus infection in Eastern Screech Owls (Megascops asio)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nemeth, N.M.; Hahn, D.C.; Gould, D.H.; Bowen, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    Eastern Screech Owls (EASOs) were experimentally infected with the pathogenic New York 1999 strain of West Nile virus (WNV) by subcutaneous injection or per os. Two of nine subcutaneously inoculated birds died or were euthanatized on 8 or 9 days postinfection (DPI) after <24 hr of lethargy and recumbency. All subcutaneously inoculated birds developed levels of viremia that are likely infectious to mosquitoes, with peak viremia levels ranging from 105.0 to 109.6 plaque-forming units/ml. Despite the viremia, the remaining seven birds did not display signs of illness. All birds alive beyond 5 DPI seroconverted, although the morbid birds demonstrated significantly lower antibody titers than the clinically normal birds. Cagemates of infected birds did not become infected. One of five orally exposed EASOs became viremic and seroconverted, whereas WNV infection in the remaining four birds was not evident. All infected birds shed virus via the oral and cloacal route. Early during infection, WNV targeted skin, spleen, esophagus, and skeletal muscle. The two morbid owls had myocardial and skeletal muscle necrosis and mild encephalitis and nephritis, whereas some of the clinically healthy birds that were sacrificed on 14 DPI had myocardial arteritis and renal phlebitis. WNV is a significant pathogen of EASOs, causing pathologic lesions with varying clinical outcomes.

  12. Raptor mortality due to West Nile virus in the United States, 2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saito, E.K.; Sileo, L.; Green, D.E.; Meteyer, C.U.; McLaughlin, G.S.; Converse, K.A.; Docherty, D.E.

    2007-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has affected many thousands of birds since it was first detected in North America in 1999, but the overall impact on wild bird populations is unknown. In mid-August 2002, wildlife rehabilitators and local wildlife officials from multiple states began reporting increasing numbers of sick and dying raptors, mostly red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) and great horned owls (Bubo virginianus. Commonly reported clinical signs were nonspecific and included emaciation, lethargy, weakness, inability to perch, fly or stand, and nonresponse to danger. Raptor carcasses from 12 states were received, and diagnostic evaluation of 56 raptors implicated WNV infection in 40 (71%) of these cases. Histologically, nonsuppurative encephalitis and myocarditis were the salient lesions (79% and 61%, respectively). Other causes of death included lead poisoning, trauma, aspergillosis, and Salmonella spp. and Clostridium spp. infections. The reason(s) for the reported increase in raptor mortality due to WNV in 2002 compared with the previous WNV seasons is unclear, and a better understanding of the epizootiology and pathogenesis of the virus in raptor populations is needed. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2007.

  13. Susceptibility of Carrion Crows to Experimental Infection with Lineage 1 and 2 West Nile Viruses.

    PubMed

    Lim, Stephanie M; Brault, Aaron C; van Amerongen, Geert; Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Romo, Hannah; Sewbalaksing, Varsha D; Bowen, Richard A; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Koraka, Penelope; Martina, Byron E E

    2015-08-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) outbreaks in North America have been characterized by substantial die-offs of American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). In contrast, a low incidence of bird deaths has been observed during WNV epidemic activity in Europe. To examine the susceptibility of the western European counterpart of American crows, we inoculated carrion crows (Corvus corone) with WNV strains isolated in Greece (Gr-10), Italy (FIN and Ita09), and Hungary (578/10) and with the highly virulent North American genotype strain (NY99). We also inoculated American crows with a selection of these strains to examine the strains' virulence in a highly susceptible bird species. Infection with all strains, except WNV FIN, resulted in high rates of death and high-level viremia in both bird species and virus dissemination to several organs. These results suggest that carrion crows are highly susceptible to WNV and may potentially be useful as part of dead bird surveillance for early warning of WNV activity in Europe.

  14. Prospective investigation of the impact of West Nile Virus infections in renal diseases.

    PubMed

    Ergunay, Koray; Karagul, Aydan; Abudalal, Ayman; Hacioglu, Sabri; Us, Durdal; Erdem, Yunus; Ozkul, Aykut

    2015-10-01

    An increased incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) after West Nile Virus (WNV) infections has been suggested but the association of WNV infections with renal damage remain inconclusive. This study was undertaken to characterize WNV infections in individuals with acute kidney injury (AKI) and CKD, and to evaluate hemodialysis as a probable transmission route. A total of 463 plasma and urine samples were collected from 45 AKI and 77 CKD patients. Nested and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were employed for viral RNA detection. Specific immunoglobulins were investigated via immunofluorescence and plaque reduction neutralization assays. Consecutive pre and post-dialysis samples were evaluated in CKD cases. WNV RNA and specific immunoglobulins were detected in 7 (5.7%) and 5 (4.1%) individuals, respectively. The AKI patients with WNV RNA in blood and urine had underlying diseases requiring immunosuppressive therapy and demonstrated moderate to high viral loads. No clinical symptom related to WNV infection were observed in CKD cases with detectable viral nucleic acids. All WNV sequences were characterized as lineage 1 clade 1a and several amino acid substitutions with unknown impact were noted. Detailed epidemiologic investigation of WNV RNA positive CKD cases revealed probable vector-borne virus exposure, without the evidence for transmission via hemodialysis.

  15. SURVEY FOR WEST NILE VIRUS ANTIBODIES IN WILD DUCKS, 2004-06, USA.

    PubMed

    Hofmeister, Erik K; Jankowski, Mark D; Goldberg, Diana; Franson, J Christian

    2016-04-28

    Detection of West Nile virus (WNV) in ducks has been reported in North America in isolated cases of mortality in wild waterbirds and following outbreaks in farmed ducks. Although the virus has been noted as an apparent incidental finding in several species of ducks, little is known about the prevalence of exposure or the outcome of infection with WNV in wild ducks in North America. From 2004-06, we collected sera from 1,406 wild-caught American Wigeon ( Anas americana ), Mallard ( Anas platyrhynchos ), and Northern Pintail ( Anas acuta ) ducks at national wildlife refuges (NWRs) in North Dakota and Wood Ducks ( Aix sponsa ) at NWRs in South Carolina and Tennessee. We measured the prevalence of previous exposure to WNV in these ducks by measuring WNV antibodies and evaluated variation in exposure among species, age, and year. Additionally, we evaluated the performance of a commercial antibody to wild bird immunoglobulin in duck species that varied in their phylogenetic relatedness to the bird species the antibody was directed against. As determined by a screening immunoassay and a confirmatory plaque reduction neutralization assay, the prevalence of WNV antibody was 10%. In light of experimental studies that show ducks to be relatively resistant to mortality caused by WNV, the antibody prevalence we detected suggests that wild ducks may be less-frequently exposed to WNV than expected for birds inhabiting wetlands where they may acquire infection from mosquitoes.

  16. Survey for West Nile virus antibodies in wild ducks, 2004-06, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Jankowski, Mark D.; Goldberg, Diana R.; Franson, J. Christian

    2016-01-01

    Detection of West Nile virus (WNV) in ducks has been reported in North America in isolated cases of mortality in wild waterbirds and following outbreaks in farmed ducks. Although the virus has been noted as an apparent incidental finding in several species of ducks, little is known about the prevalence of exposure or the outcome of infection with WNV in wild ducks in North America. From 2004–06, we collected sera from 1,406 wild-caught American Wigeon (Anas americana), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) ducks at national wildlife refuges (NWRs) in North Dakota and Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) at NWRs in South Carolina and Tennessee. We measured the prevalence of previous exposure to WNV in these ducks by measuring WNV antibodies and evaluated variation in exposure among species, age, and year. Additionally, we evaluated the performance of a commercial antibody to wild bird immunoglobulin in duck species that varied in their phylogenetic relatedness to the bird species the antibody was directed against. As determined by a screening immunoassay and a confirmatory plaque reduction neutralization assay, the prevalence of WNV antibody was 10%. In light of experimental studies that show ducks to be relatively resistant to mortality caused by WNV, the antibody prevalence we detected suggests that wild ducks may be less-frequently exposed to WNV than expected for birds inhabiting wetlands where they may acquire infection from mosquitoes.

  17. Avian diversity and West Nile virus: Testing associations between biodiversity and infectious disease risk

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ezenwa, V.O.; Godsey, M.S.; King, R.J.; Guptill, S.C.

    2006-01-01

    The emergence of several high profile infectious diseases in recent years has focused attention on our need to understand the ecological factors contributing to the spread of infectious diseases. West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease that was first detected in the United States in 1999. The factors accounting for variation in the prevalence of WNV are poorly understood, but recent ideas suggesting links between high biodiversity and reduced vector-borne disease risk may help account for distribution patterns of this disease. Since wild birds are the primary reservoir hosts for WNV, we tested associations between passerine (Passeriform) bird diversity, non-passerine (all other orders) bird diversity and virus infection rates in mosquitoes and humans to examine the extent to which bird diversity is associated with WNV infection risk. We found that non-passerine species richness (number of non-passerine species) was significantly negatively correlated with both mosquito and human infection rates, whereas there was no significant association between passerine species richness and any measure of infection risk. Our findings suggest that non-passerine diversity may play a role in dampening WNV amplification rates in mosquitoes, minimizing human disease risk. ?? 2005 The Royal Society.

  18. Avian diversity and West Nile virus: testing associations between biodiversity and infectious disease risk.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ezenwa, V.O.; Godsey, M.S.; King, R.J.; Guptill, S.C.

    2006-01-01

    The emergence of several high profile infectious diseases in recent years has focused attention on our need to understand the ecological factors contributing to the spread of infectious diseases. West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease that was first detected in the United States in 1999. The factors accounting for variation in the prevalence of WNV are poorly understood, but recentideas suggesting links between high biodiversity and reduced vector-borne disease risk may help account for distribution patterns of this disease. Since wild birds are the primary reservoir hosts for WNV, we tested associations between passerine (Passeriform) bird diversity, non-passerine (all other orders) bird diversity and virus infection rates in mosquitoes and humans to examine the extent to which bird diversity is associated with WNV infection risk. We found t h at non-passerine species richness (number of non-passerine species) was significantly negatively correlated with both mosquito and human infection rates, whereas there was no significant association between passerine species richness and any measure of infection risk. Our findings suggest that non-passerine diversity may play a role in dampening WNV amplification rates in mosquitoes, minimizing human disease risk.

  19. Laboratory and clinical characteristics of human West Nile virus infections during 2011 outbreak in southern Greece.

    PubMed

    Vrioni, Georgia; Mavrouli, Maria; Kapsimali, Violeta; Stavropoulou, Anastasia; Detsis, Marios; Danis, Kostas; Tsakris, Athanassios

    2014-01-01

    During the summer-autumn of 2011, a human outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) infection occurred in southern Greece, following the first outbreak during 2010 in northern Greece. An investigation was performed to analyze laboratory diagnosis, geographic distribution, and clinical features of WNV cases in southern Greece. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens from all patients seeking laboratory diagnosis for suspected WNV infection were tested for the presence of specific WNV immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies. Detection of WNV RNA in CSF and whole blood samples was accomplished by real-time PCR. During August-October of 2011, 31 confirmed or probable cases of WNV infection were identified. In 25 of them, individuals experienced severe neurological manifestations and were classified as WNV neuroinvasive disease cases. Risk factors such as advanced age, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus were identified in most cases with neurological complications. As many as 25 of the WNV cases occurred in the broader region of Athens; the majority of them (17 cases) were identified in municipalities of Eastern Attica, located almost 40 km from the metropolitan area of Athens and 500 km from Central Macedonia, where the 2010 WNV outbreak occurred. The spread of the virus in a newly affected area of the country suggests that WNV has been established in Greece and disease transmission will be continued in the future.

  20. A West Nile virus mutant with increased resistance to acid-induced inactivation.

    PubMed

    Martín-Acebes, Miguel A; Saiz, Juan-Carlos

    2011-04-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus responsible for epidemics of febrile illness, meningitis, encephalitis and flaccid paralysis. WNV gains entry into host cells through endocytosis. The acid pH inside endosomes triggers rapid conformational rearrangements of the flavivirus envelope (E) glycoprotein that result in fusion of the endosomal membrane with the virion envelope. Conformational rearrangements of the E glycoprotein can be induced by acid exposure in solution in the absence of target membranes, thus causing a loss of infectivity. Following a genetic approach to study this process, a WNV mutant with increased resistance to acid-induced inactivation was isolated and its complete genome was sequenced. A single amino acid substitution, T70I, in the E glycoprotein was found to be responsible for the increased acid resistance, which was linked to an increase in the sensitivity of infection to the chemical rise of endosomal pH, suggesting that the mutant required a more acid pH inside the endosomes for fusion. No alterations in viral infection kinetics, plaque size or induced mortality rates in mice of the mutant were noted. However, by means of virus competition assays, a reduction in viral fitness under standard culture conditions was observed for the mutant. These results provide new evidence of the adaptive flexibility to environmental factors--pH variation in this case--of WNV populations. Implications of the T70I replacement on the E glycoprotein structure-function relationship are discussed.

  1. Susceptibility of Carrion Crows to Experimental Infection with Lineage 1 and 2 West Nile Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Stephanie M.; Brault, Aaron C.; van Amerongen, Geert; Bosco-Lauth, Angela M.; Romo, Hannah; Sewbalaksing, Varsha D.; Bowen, Richard A.; Osterhaus, Albert D.M.E.; Koraka, Penelope

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) outbreaks in North America have been characterized by substantial die-offs of American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). In contrast, a low incidence of bird deaths has been observed during WNV epidemic activity in Europe. To examine the susceptibility of the western European counterpart of American crows, we inoculated carrion crows (Corvus corone) with WNV strains isolated in Greece (Gr-10), Italy (FIN and Ita09), and Hungary (578/10) and with the highly virulent North American genotype strain (NY99). We also inoculated American crows with a selection of these strains to examine the strains’ virulence in a highly susceptible bird species. Infection with all strains, except WNV FIN, resulted in high rates of death and high-level viremia in both bird species and virus dissemination to several organs. These results suggest that carrion crows are highly susceptible to WNV and may potentially be useful as part of dead bird surveillance for early warning of WNV activity in Europe. PMID:26197093

  2. Characterization of the mouse neuroinvasiveness of selected European strains of West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Lim, Stephanie M; Koraka, Penelope; van Boheemen, Sander; Roose, Jouke M; Jaarsma, Dick; van de Vijver, David A M C; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Martina, Byron E E

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has caused outbreaks and sporadic infections in Central, Eastern and Mediterranean Europe for over 45 years. Most strains responsible for the European and Mediterranean basin outbreaks are classified as lineage 1. In recent years, WNV strains belonging to lineage 1 and 2 have been causing outbreaks of neuroinvasive disease in humans in countries such as Italy, Hungary and Greece, while mass mortality among birds was not reported. This study characterizes three European strains of WNV isolated in Italy (FIN and Ita09) and Hungary (578/10) in terms of in vitro replication kinetics on neuroblastoma cells, LD50 values in C57BL/6 mice, median day mortality, cumulative mortality, concentration of virus in the brain and spinal cord, and the response to infection in the brain. Overall, the results indicate that strains circulating in Europe belonging to both lineage 1 and 2 are highly virulent and that Ita09 and 578/10 are more neurovirulent compared to the FIN strain. PMID:24058590

  3. Diverse Host Feeding on Nesting Birds May Limit Early-Season West Nile Virus Amplification

    PubMed Central

    Egizi, Andrea M.; Farajollahi, Ary

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Arboviral activity tracks vector availability, which in temperate regions means that transmission ceases during the winter and must be restarted each spring. In the northeastern United States, Culex restuans Theobald resumes its activity earlier than Culex pipiens L. and is thought to be important in restarting West Nile virus (WNV) transmission. Its role in WNV amplification, however, is unclear, because viral levels commonly remain low until the rise of Cx. pipiens later in the season. Because a vector's feeding habits can reveal key information about disease transmission, we identified early-season (April–June) blood meals from Cx. restuans collected throughout New Jersey, and compared them to published datasets from later in the season and also from other parts of the country. We found significantly higher avian diversity, including poor WNV hosts, and fewer blood meals derived from American Robins (17% versus over 40% found in later season). Critically, we identified blood meals from significantly more female than male birds in species where females are the incubating sex, suggesting that Cx. restuans is able to feed on such a wide variety of hosts in early spring because incubating birds are easy targets. Because WNV amplification depends on virus consistently reaching competent hosts, our results indicate that Cx. restuans is unlikely to be an amplifying vector of WNV in the early season. As the season progresses, however, changes in the availability of nesting birds may make it just as capable as Cx. pipiens, although at somewhat lower abundance as the summer progresses. PMID:24745370

  4. Projection of Climate Change Influences on U.S. West Nile Virus Vectors

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Heidi E.; Young, Alex; Lega, Joceline; Andreadis, Theodore G.; Schurich, Jessica; Comrie, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    While estimates of the impact of climate change on health are necessary for health care planners and climate change policy makers, models to produce quantitative estimates remain scarce. We describe a freely available dynamic simulation model parameterized for three West Nile virus vectors, which provides an effective tool for studying vector-borne disease risk due to climate change. The Dynamic Mosquito Simulation Model is parameterized with species specific temperature-dependent development and mortality rates. Using downscaled daily weather data, we estimate mosquito population dynamics under current and projected future climate scenarios for multiple locations across the country. Trends in mosquito abundance were variable by location, however, an extension of the vector activity periods, and by extension disease risk, was almost uniformly observed. Importantly, mid-summer decreases in abundance may be off-set by shorter extrinsic incubation periods resulting in a greater proportion of infective mosquitoes. Quantitative descriptions of the effect of temperature on the virus and mosquito are critical to developing models of future disease risk. PMID:27057131

  5. Use of sentinel serosurveillance of mules and donkeys in the monitoring of West Nile virus infection.

    PubMed

    García-Bocanegra, Ignacio; Arenas-Montes, Antonio; Jaén-Téllez, Juan A; Napp, Sebastián; Fernández-Morente, Manuel; Arenas, Antonio

    2012-11-01

    A cross-sectional study was carried out on clinically normal mules and donkeys in a region of southern Spain to assess the seroprevalence of West Nile virus (WNV) following detection of infection in contiguous horse and human populations. Antibodies against WNV were detected by a blocking ELISA and micro-virus neutralisation test in 12/165 (7.3%; CI(95%) 4.3-11.3) of the animals sampled. Even though the individual seroprevalence was higher in mules (9.6%; 8/83) than in donkeys (4.9%; 4/82), the difference was not statistically significant. Nine of 90 herds (10.0%; CI(95%) 3.8-16.2) contained at least one seropositive animal. Antibodies against WNV were also detected in 1/4 (25%) donkeys tested on three farms where WNV cases had been confirmed in horses. None of 26 potential explanatory variables was identified as a risk factor for seropositivity. Such serosurveillance of sentinel mules or donkeys may be a useful tool in the epidemiological monitoring of WNV in regions where horses are vaccinated.

  6. Mosquitoes Inoculate High Doses of West Nile Virus as They Probe and Feed on Live Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Styer, Linda M; Kent, Kim A; Albright, Rebecca G; Bennett, Corey J; Kramer, Laura D; Bernard, Kristen A

    2007-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is transmitted to vertebrate hosts by mosquitoes as they take a blood meal. The amount of WNV inoculated by mosquitoes as they feed on a live host is not known. Previous estimates of the amount of WNV inoculated by mosquitoes (101.2–104.3 PFU) were based on in vitro assays that do not allow mosquitoes to probe or feed naturally. Here, we developed an in vivo assay to determine the amount of WNV inoculated by mosquitoes as they probe and feed on peripheral tissues of a mouse or chick. Using our assay, we recovered approximately one-third of a known amount of virus inoculated into mouse tissues. Accounting for unrecovered virus, mean and median doses of WNV inoculated by four mosquito species were 104.3 PFU and 105.0 PFU for Culex tarsalis, 105.9 PFU and 106.1 PFU for Cx. pipiens, 104.7 PFU and 104.7 PFU for Aedes japonicus, and 103.6 PFU and 103.4 PFU for Ae. triseriatus. In a direct comparison, in vivo estimates of the viral dose inoculated by Cx. tarsalis were approximately 600 times greater than estimates obtained by an in vitro capillary tube transmission assay. Virus did not disperse rapidly, as >99% of the virus was recovered from the section fed or probed upon by the mosquito. Furthermore, 76% (22/29) of mosquitoes inoculated a small amount of virus (∼102 PFU) directly into the blood while feeding. Direct introduction of virus into the blood may alter viral tropism, lead to earlier development of viremia, and cause low rates of infection in co-feeding mosquitoes. Our data demonstrate that mosquitoes inoculate high doses of WNV extravascularly and low doses intravascularly while probing and feeding on a live host. Accurate estimates of the viral dose inoculated by mosquitoes are critical in order to administer appropriate inoculation doses to animals in vaccine, host competence, and pathogenesis studies. PMID:17941708

  7. Crow deaths as a sentinel surveillance system for West Nile virus in the northeastern United States, 1999.

    PubMed Central

    Eidson, M.; Komar, N.; Sorhage, F.; Nelson, R.; Talbot, T.; Mostashari, F.; McLean, R.

    2001-01-01

    In addition to human encephalitis and meningitis cases, the West Nile (WN) virus outbreak in the summer and fall of 1999 in New York State resulted in bird deaths in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. From August to December 1999, 295 dead birds were laboratory-confirmed with WN virus infection; 262 (89%) were American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). The New York State Department of Health received reports of 17,339 dead birds, including 5,697 (33%) crows; in Connecticut 1,040 dead crows were reported. Bird deaths were critical in identifying WN virus as the cause of the human outbreak and defining its geographic and temporal limits. If established before a WN virus outbreak, a surveillance system based on bird deaths may provide a sensitive method of detecting WN virus. PMID:11585521

  8. Serologic evidence for West Nile virus infection in birds in the New York City vicinity during an outbreak in 1999.

    PubMed Central

    Komar, N.; Panella, N. A.; Burns, J. E.; Dusza, S. W.; Mascarenhas, T. M.; Talbot, T. O.

    2001-01-01

    As part of an investigation of an encephalitis outbreak in New York City, we sampled 430 birds, representing 18 species in four orders, during September 13-23, 1999, in Queens and surrounding counties. Overall, 33% were positive for West Nile (WN) virus-neutralizing antibodies, and 0.5% were positive for St. Louis encephalitis virus-neutralizing antibodies. By county, Queens had the most seropositive birds for WN virus (50%); species with the greatest seropositivity for WN virus (sample sizes were at least six) were Domestic Goose, Domestic Chicken, House Sparrow, Canada Goose, and Rock Dove. One sampled bird, a captive adult Domestic Goose, showed signs of illness; WN virus infection was confirmed. Our results support the concept that chickens and House Sparrows are good arbovirus sentinels. This study also implicates the House Sparrow as an important vertebrate reservoir host. PMID:11585522

  9. Crow deaths as a sentinel surveillance system for West Nile virus in the northeastern United States, 1999

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eidson, M.; Komar, N.; Sorhage, F.; Nelson, R.; Talbot, T.; Mostashari, F.; McLean, R.; ,

    2001-01-01

    In addition to human encephalitis and meningitis cases, the West Nile (WN) virus outbreak in the summer and fall of 1999 in New York State resulted in bird deaths in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. From August to December 1999, 295 dead birds were laboratory-confirmed with WN virus infection; 262 (89%) were American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). The New York State Department of Health received reports of 17,339 dead birds, including 5,697 (33%) crows; in Connecticut 1,040 dead crows were reported. Bird deaths were critical in identifying WN virus as the cause of the human outbreak and defining its geographic and temporal limits. If established before a WN virus outbreak, a surveillance system based on bird deaths may provide a sensitive method of detecting WN virus.

  10. The Israeli strain IS-98-ST1 of West Nile virus as viral model for West Nile encephalitis in the Old World

    PubMed Central

    Lucas, Marianne; Frenkiel, Marie-Pascale; Mashimo, Tomoji; Guénet, Jean-Louis; Deubel, Vincent; Desprès, Philippe; Ceccaldi, Pierre-Emmanuel

    2004-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) recently became a major public health concern in North America, the Middle East, and Europe. In contrast with the investigations of the North-American isolates, the neurovirulence properties of Middle-Eastern strains of WNV have not been extensively characterized. Israeli WNV strain IS-98-ST1 that has been isolated from a white stork in 1998, was found to be highly neuroinvasive in adult C57BL/6 mice. Strain IS-98-ST1 infects primary neuronal cells from mouse cortex, causing neuronal death. These results demonstrate that Israeli strain IS-98-ST1 provides a suitable viral model for WNV-induced disease associated with recent WNV outbreaks in the Old World. PMID:15550172

  11. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of recombinant Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara candidate vaccines delivering West Nile virus envelope antigens.

    PubMed

    Volz, Asisa; Lim, Stephanie; Kaserer, Martina; Lülf, Anna; Marr, Lisa; Jany, Sylvia; Deeg, Cornelia A; Pijlman, Gorben P; Koraka, Penelope; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Martina, Byron E; Sutter, Gerd

    2016-04-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) cycles between insects and wild birds, and is transmitted via mosquito vectors to horses and humans, potentially causing severe neuroinvasive disease. Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is an advanced viral vector for developing new recombinant vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer. Here, we generated and evaluated recombinant MVA candidate vaccines that deliver WNV envelope (E) antigens and fulfil all the requirements to proceed to clinical testing in humans. Infections of human and equine cell cultures with recombinant MVA demonstrated efficient synthesis and secretion of WNV envelope proteins in mammalian cells non-permissive for MVA replication. Prime-boost immunizations in BALB/c mice readily induced circulating serum antibodies binding to recombinant WNV E protein and neutralizing WNV in tissue culture infections. Vaccinations in HLA-A2.1-/HLA-DR1-transgenic H-2 class I-/class II-knockout mice elicited WNV E-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Moreover, the MVA-WNV candidate vaccines protected C57BL/6 mice against lineage 1 and lineage 2 WNV infection and induced heterologous neutralizing antibodies. Thus, further studies are warranted to evaluate these recombinant MVA-WNV vaccines in other preclinical models and use them as candidate vaccine in humans. PMID:26939903

  12. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of recombinant Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara candidate vaccines delivering West Nile virus envelope antigens.

    PubMed

    Volz, Asisa; Lim, Stephanie; Kaserer, Martina; Lülf, Anna; Marr, Lisa; Jany, Sylvia; Deeg, Cornelia A; Pijlman, Gorben P; Koraka, Penelope; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Martina, Byron E; Sutter, Gerd

    2016-04-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) cycles between insects and wild birds, and is transmitted via mosquito vectors to horses and humans, potentially causing severe neuroinvasive disease. Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is an advanced viral vector for developing new recombinant vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer. Here, we generated and evaluated recombinant MVA candidate vaccines that deliver WNV envelope (E) antigens and fulfil all the requirements to proceed to clinical testing in humans. Infections of human and equine cell cultures with recombinant MVA demonstrated efficient synthesis and secretion of WNV envelope proteins in mammalian cells non-permissive for MVA replication. Prime-boost immunizations in BALB/c mice readily induced circulating serum antibodies binding to recombinant WNV E protein and neutralizing WNV in tissue culture infections. Vaccinations in HLA-A2.1-/HLA-DR1-transgenic H-2 class I-/class II-knockout mice elicited WNV E-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Moreover, the MVA-WNV candidate vaccines protected C57BL/6 mice against lineage 1 and lineage 2 WNV infection and induced heterologous neutralizing antibodies. Thus, further studies are warranted to evaluate these recombinant MVA-WNV vaccines in other preclinical models and use them as candidate vaccine in humans.

  13. Evaluating Surveillance Methods for Arboviral Vectors of La Crosse Virus and West Nile Virus of Southern Appalachia.

    PubMed

    Urquhart, C; Paulsen, D; Moncayo, A; Trout Fryxell, R T

    2016-03-01

    To monitor mosquito-borne diseases, public health departments conduct mosquito and pathogen surveillance. Our objective was to evaluate mosquito monitoring methods for collecting La Crosse virus (LACV) and West Nile virus (WNV) vectors (Aedes and Culex mosquitoes, respectively) in southern Appalachia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps baited with carbon dioxide (CO(2)), CDC light traps baited with CO(2) and BG lure, BG-Sentinel traps baited with CO(2), gravid traps baited with oak (Quercus)-water infusion, and resting traps were compared in eastern Tennessee in 2013. Traps operated at 8 different urban sites throughout Knox County were randomly assigned to and rotated among 6 plots within each site. Results were specific for each vector; the BG-Sentinel trap was the best method for Aedes triseriatus, the CDC trap baited with CO(2) and BG lure was the best method for Ae. albopictus, and the gravid trap was the best method for Ae. japonicus. Culex erraticus collections varied by week and trapping method, indicating no single method was best, but the questing traps collected more mosquitoes. There was no significant trapping difference for Cx. pipiens complex in this region using the methods tested. The results suggest using a combination of trapping methods when sampling for LACV and/or WNV mosquito vectors in southern Appalachia. Effective trapping methods are necessary to enable accurate surveillance, improve control methods, enhance understanding of dispersal, and use for early detection of vectors and pathogens. PMID:27105213

  14. Repeated West Nile Virus Epidemic Transmission in Kern County, California, 2004–2007

    PubMed Central

    REISEN, WILLIAM K.; CARROLL, BRIAN D.; TAKAHASHI, RICHARD; FANG, YING; GARCIA, SANDRA; MARTINEZ, VINCENT M.; QUIRING, ROB

    2009-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has remained epidemic in Kern County, CA, since its introduction in 2004 through 2007 when the human case annual incidence increased from 6 – 8 to 17 per 100,000, respectively. The 2007 increase in human infection was associated with contradicting surveillance indicators, including severe drought, warm spring but cool summer temperature anomalies, decreased rural and urban mosquito abundance but increased early season infection in urban Culex quinquefasciatus Say, moderate avian “herd immunity,” and declines in the catch of competent (western scrub-jay and house finch) and noncompetent (California quail and mourning dove) avian species. The decline in these noncompetent avian hosts may have increased contact with competent avian hosts and perhaps humans. The marked increase in home foreclosures and associated neglected swimming pools increased urban mosquito production sites, most likely contributing to the urban mosquito population and the WNV outbreak within Bakersfield. Coalescing five surveillance indicators into a risk assessment score measured each half month provided 2- to 6-wk early warning for emergency planning and was followed consistently by the onset of human cases after reaching epidemic conditions. St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) antibody was detected rarely in wild birds but not mosquitoes or sentinel chickens, indicating that previously infected birds were detected in Kern County, but SLEV reintroduction was not successful. In contrast, western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) was detected during 3 of 5 yr in Culex tarsalis Coquillett, sentinel chickens, and wild birds, but failed to amplify to levels where tangential transmission was detected in Aedes mosquitoes or humans. A comparison of transmission patterns in Kern County to Coachella Valley in the southeastern desert of California showed the importance of mosquito phenology and spatial distribution, corvids, or other avian “super spreaders” and anthropogenic

  15. Recent circulation of West Nile virus and potentially other closely related flaviviruses in Southern France.

    PubMed

    Vittecoq, Marion; Lecollinet, Sylvie; Jourdain, Elsa; Thomas, Frédéric; Blanchon, Thomas; Arnal, Audrey; Lowenski, Steeve; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel

    2013-08-01

    In recent years, the number of West Nile virus (WNV) cases reported in horses and humans has increased dramatically throughout the Mediterranean basin. Furthermore, the emergence of Usutu virus (USUV) in Austria in 2001, and its subsequent expansion to Hungary, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Germany, has given added cause for concern regarding the impact of the spread of flaviviruses on human and animal health in western Europe. Despite frequent detection of WNV and USUV cases in neighboring countries, no case of WNV has been detected in France since 2006 and USUV has never been reported. However, recent investigations focused on detecting the circulation of flaviviruses in France are lacking. We investigated the circulation of WNV and USUV viruses in wild birds in southern France on the basis of a serological survey conducted on a sentinel species, the magpie (Pica pica), in the Camargue area from November, 2009, to December, 2010. We detected WNV-neutralizing antibodies at a high titer (160) in a second-year bird showing recent exposure to WNV, although no WNV case has been detected in humans or in horses since 2004 in the Camargue. In addition, we observed low titers (10 or 20) of USUV-specific antibodies in six magpies, two of which were also seropositive for WNV. Such low titers do not give grounds for concluding that these birds had been exposed to USUV; cross-reactions at low titers may occur between antigenically closely related flaviviruses. But these results urge for further investigations into the circulation of flaviviruses in southern France. They also emphasize the necessity of undertaking epidemiological studies on a long-term basis, rather than over short periods following public health crises, to gain insight into viral dynamics within natural reservoirs. PMID:23930977

  16. West Nile virus serosurveillance in pigs, wild boars, and roe deer in Serbia.

    PubMed

    Escribano-Romero, Estela; Lupulović, Diana; Merino-Ramos, Teresa; Blázquez, Ana-Belén; Lazić, Gospava; Lazić, Sava; Saiz, Juan-Carlos; Petrović, Tamaš

    2015-04-17

    West Nile virus (WNV) is maintained in nature in an enzootic transmission cycle between birds and mosquitoes, but it also infects many other vertebrates, including humans and horses, in which it can induce severe neurological diseases; however, data about virus circulation in other mammals is scarce. WNV has a history of recent outbreaks in Europe, including Serbia, where it was identified for the first time in 2010 in mosquitoes and in 2012 in birds and humans, being responsible for over 300 confirmed human cases and 35 deaths there along 2013. To assess WNV circulation among mammals in the country, 688 samples obtained from 279 farm pigs, 318 wild boars, and 91 roe deer were investigated for the presence of antibodies to WNV by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and viral neutralization test (VNT), and the specificity of their reactivity was assayed against Usutu virus (USUV). ELISA-reactive sera were identified in 43 (15.4%) pigs, 56 (17.6%) wild boars, and 17 (18.7%) roe deer. Of these, 6 (14%), 33 (59%), and 4 (23.5%) respectively, neutralized WNV. One out of the 45 ELISA negative sera tested, from a roe deer, neutralized WNV. Cross-reactivity neutralization test indicated that all deer and pigs neutralizing sera were WNV specific, while in 5 (15.2%) of the wild boar samples the specificity could not be established. Four wild boar sera showed USUV specificity. All these data confirm the circulation of both flaviviruses in Serbia, and highlight the need for the implementation of global coordinated surveillance programs in the region.

  17. Repeated West Nile virus epidemic transmission in Kern County, California, 2004-2007.

    PubMed

    Reisen, William K; Carroll, Brian D; Takahashi, Richard; Fang, Ying; Garcia, Sandra; Martinez, Vincent M; Quiring, Rob

    2009-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has remained epidemic in Kern County, CA, since its introduction in 2004 through 2007 when the human case annual incidence increased from 6-8 to 17 per 100,000, respectively. The 2007 increase in human infection was associated with contradicting surveillance indicators, including severe drought, warm spring but cool summer temperature anomalies, decreased rural and urban mosquito abundance but increased early season infection in urban Culex quinquefasciatus Say, moderate avian "herd immunity," and declines in the catch of competent (western scrub-jay and house finch) and noncompetent (California quail and mourning dove) avian species. The decline in these noncompetent avian hosts may have increased contact with competent avian hosts and perhaps humans. The marked increase in home foreclosures and associated neglected swimming pools increased urban mosquito production sites, most likely contributing to the urban mosquito population and the WNV outbreak within Bakersfield. Coalescing five surveillance indicators into a risk assessment score measured each half month provided 2- to 6-wk early warning for emergency planning and was followed consistently by the onset of human cases after reaching epidemic conditions. St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) antibody was detected rarely in wild birds but not mosquitoes or sentinel chickens, indicating that previously infected birds were detected in Kern County, but SLEV reintroduction was not successful. In contrast, western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) was detected during 3 of 5 yr in Culex tarsalis Coquillett, sentinel chickens, and wild birds, but failed to amplify to levels where tangential transmission was detected in Aedes mosquitoes or humans. A comparison of transmission patterns in Kern County to Coachella Valley in the southeastern desert of California showed the importance of mosquito phenology and spatial distribution, corvids, or other avian "super spreaders" and anthropogenic factors in

  18. Monitoring of West Nile virus in mosquitoes between 2011-2012 in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Szentpáli-Gavallér, Katalin; Antal, László; Tóth, Mihály; Kemenesi, Gábor; Soltész, Zoltán; Dán, Adám; Erdélyi, Károly; Bányai, Krisztián; Bálint, Adám; Jakab, Ferenc; Bakonyi, Tamás

    2014-09-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a widely distributed mosquito-borne flavivirus. WNV strains are classified into several genetic lineages on the basis of phylogenetic differences. Whereas lineage 1 viruses are distributed worldwide, lineage 2 WNV was first detected outside of Africa in Hungary in 2004. Since then, WNV-associated disease and mortality in animal and human hosts have been documented periodically in Hungary. After the first detection of WNV from a pool of Culex pipiens mosquitoes in 2010, samples were collated from several sources and tested in a 2-year monitoring program. Collection areas were located in the Southern Transdanubium, in northeastern Hungary, in eastern Hungary, and in southeastern Hungary. During the 2 years, 23,193 mosquitoes in 645 pools were screened for WNV virus presence with RT-PCR. Three pools were found positive for WNV in 2011 (one pool of Ochlerotatus annulipes collected in Fényeslitke in June, one pool of Coquillettidia richiardii collected in Debrecen, Fancsika-tó, in July, and one pool of Cx. pipiens captured near Red-Footed Falcon colonies at Kardoskút in September). The minimal infection rate (MIR=proportion of infected mosquitoes per 1000 mosquitoes) of all mosquito pools was 0.25, whereas the MIR of infected species was 2.03 for O. annulipes, 0.63 for C. richiardii, and 2.70 for C.x pipiens. Molecular data have demonstrated that the same lineage 2 WNV strain has circulated in wild birds, horses, humans, and mosquitoes in Hungary since 2004. Mosquito-based surveillance successfully complemented the ongoing, long-term passive surveillance system and it was useful for the early detection of WNV circulation.

  19. Feeding Patterns of Potential West Nile Virus Vectors in South-West Spain

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Joaquín; Ruiz, Santiago; Soriguer, Ramón; Alcaide, Miguel; Viana, Duarte S.; Roiz, David; Vázquez, Ana; Figuerola, Jordi

    2012-01-01

    Background Mosquito feeding behaviour determines the degree of vector–host contact and may have a serious impact on the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) epidemics. Feeding behaviour also interacts with other biotic and abiotic factors that affect virus amplification and transmission. Methodology/Principal Findings We identified the origin of blood meals in five mosquito species from three different wetlands in SW Spain. All mosquito species analysed fed with different frequencies on birds, mammals and reptiles. Both ‘mosquito species’ and ‘locality’ explained a similar amount of variance in the occurrence of avian blood meals. However, ‘season of year’ was the main factor explaining the presence of human blood meals. The differences in diet resulted in a marked spatial heterogeneity in the estimated WNV transmission risk. Culex perexiguus, Cx. modestus and Cx. pipiens were the main mosquito species involved in WNV enzootic circulation since they feed mainly on birds, were abundant in a number of localities and had high vector competence. Cx. perexiguus may also be important for WNV transmission to horses, as are Cx. pipiens and Cx. theileri in transmission to humans. Estimates of the WNV transmission risk based on mosquito diet, abundance and vector competence matched the results of previous WNV monitoring programs in the area. Our sensitivity analyses suggested that mosquito diet, followed by mosquito abundance and vector competence, are all relevant factors in understanding virus amplification and transmission risk in the studied wild ecosystems. At some of the studied localities, the risk of enzootic circulation of WNV was relatively high, even if the risk of transmission to humans and horses was less. Conclusions/Significance Our results describe for first time the role of five WNV candidate vectors in SW Spain. Interspecific and local differences in mosquito diet composition has an important effect on the potential transmission risk of WNV to birds

  20. 4EBP-Dependent Signaling Supports West Nile Virus Growth and Protein Expression

    PubMed Central

    Shives, Katherine D.; Massey, Aaron R.; May, Nicholas A.; Morrison, Thomas E.; Beckham, J. David

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a (+) sense, single-stranded RNA virus in the Flavivirus genus. WNV RNA possesses an m7GpppNm 5′ cap with 2′-O-methylation that mimics host mRNAs preventing innate immune detection and allowing the virus to translate its RNA genome through the utilization of cap-dependent translation initiation effectors in a wide variety of host species. Our prior work established the requirement of the host mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) for optimal WNV growth and protein expression; yet, the roles of the downstream effectors of mTORC1 in WNV translation are unknown. In this study, we utilize gene deletion mutants in the ribosomal protein kinase called S6 kinase (S6K) and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein (4EBP) pathways downstream of mTORC1 to define the role of mTOR-dependent translation initiation signals in WNV gene expression and growth. We now show that WNV growth and protein expression are dependent on mTORC1 mediated-regulation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein/eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein (4EBP/eIF4E) interaction and eukaryotic initiation factor 4F (eIF4F) complex formation to support viral growth and viral protein expression. We also show that the canonical signals of mTORC1 activation including ribosomal protein s6 (rpS6) and S6K phosphorylation are not required for WNV growth in these same conditions. Our data suggest that the mTORC1/4EBP/eIF4E signaling axis is activated to support the translation of the WNV genome. PMID:27763553

  1. West Nile virus antibodies in avian species of Georgia, USA: 2000-2004.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Samantha E J; Allison, Andrew B; Yabsley, Michael J; Mead, Daniel G; Wilcox, Benjamin R; Stallknecht, David E

    2006-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was first isolated in the state of Georgia in the summer of 2001. As amplifying hosts of WNV, avian species play an important role in the distribution and epidemiology of the virus. The objective of this study was to identify avian species that are locally involved as potential amplifying hosts of WNV and can serve as indicators of WNV transmission over the physiographic and land use variation present in the southeastern United States. Avian serum samples (n=14,077) from 83 species of birds captured throughout Georgia during the summers of 2000-2004 were tested by a plaque reduction neutralization test for antibodies to WNV and St. Louis encephalitis virus. Over the 5-year period, WNV-neutralizing antibodies were detected in 869 (6.2%) samples. The WNV seroprevalence increased significantly throughout the study and was species dependent. The highest antibody prevalence rates were detected in rock pigeons (Columba livia), northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), common ground doves (Columbina passerina), grey catbirds (Deumetella carolinensis), and northern mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos). Northern cardinals, in addition to having high geometric mean antibody titers and seroprevalence rates, were commonly found in all land use types and physiographic regions. Rock pigeons, common ground doves, grey catbirds, and northern mockingbirds, although also having high seroprevalence rates and high antibody titers against WNV, were more restricted in their distribution and therefore may be of more utility when attempting to assess exposure rates in specific habitat types. Of all species tested, northern cardinals represent the best potential avian indicator species for widespread serologic-based studies of WNV throughout Georgia due to their extensive range, ease of capture, and high antibody rates and titers. Due to the large geographic area covered by this species, their utility as a WNV sentinel species may include most of the eastern United

  2. Monitoring of the West Nile virus epidemic in Spain between 2010 and 2011.

    PubMed

    García-Bocanegra, I; Jaén-Téllez, J A; Napp, S; Arenas-Montes, A; Fernández-Morente, M; Fernández-Molera, V; Arenas, A

    2012-10-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus recognized as an emerging and re-emerging pathogen in different countries. This study describes the monitoring of the first WNV epidemic in Spain between 2010 and 2011. Between September and December 2010, 36 outbreaks of WNV in horses were reported in three different provinces of Andalusia (southern Spain), with no apparent spread outside this area. The temporal distribution and the clinical signs observed during the WNV epidemic in Spain were, in general, similar to those reported in Europe and in the Mediterranean Basin. Morbidity, mortality and fatality rate in the affected herds were 4.6, 1.4 and 35.3%, respectively. Thirty-six of 75 (47.4%) suspected herds investigated presented at least one IgM seropositive animal. The individual seroprevalence in unvaccinated animals from the infected holdings was 51.7%. RNA WNV lineage 1 virus was confirmed from blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples in a lethally infected horse. The entomological survey showed that the most abundant mosquito species detected in the affected area was Culex pipiens. A cross-sectional study was carried out in non-suspected herds between April 2010 and February 2011 in the affected area. The individual seroprevalence was 11.0%, and six of the 38 herds sampled (15.8%) presented at least one seropositive animal. The results showed active WNV circulation several months before the first outbreak was reported in horses. The seropositivity found in municipalities where clinical cases were not reported indicates a higher geographical dissemination of the virus. Significantly higher seroprevalences were detected in areas close to Morocco. Furthermore, 90 wild ruminants were tested for the presence of antibodies against WNV, but the results were all negative.

  3. Vector Competence of Argentine Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) for West Nile virus (Flaviviridae: Flavivirus)

    PubMed Central

    MICIELI, MARÍA V.; MATACCHIERO, AMY C.; MUTTIS, EVANGELINA; FONSECA, DINA M.; ALIOTA, MATTHEW T.; KRAMER, LAURA D.

    2014-01-01

    We examined the ability of Culex pipiens L. complex mosquitoes from Argentina to vector West Nile virus (WNV) to assess their role in the transmission of WNV in South America. Several egg rafts of Culex spp. were collected from different breeding sites in the suburbs of the city of La Plata, Argentina, and a subset of each progeny was scored with morphological and genetic species indicators. Surprisingly, we did not find Cx. pipiens form pipiens, but found evidence of genetic hybrids of Culex quinquefasciatus and Cx. pipiens f. molestus. We then used morphological traits to create two colonies predominantly composed of one of these two taxa, although some hybrids are likely to have been included in both. These colonies were used in vector competence studies using NY99 and WN02 genotype strains of WNV obtained in New York State. As controls, we also tested colonies of U.S. Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. pipiens f. molestus. Additional Culex larvae from three drainage ditches near the cities of La Plata and Berisso, Argentina, were identified by morphological and high-resolution molecular markers (microsatellites) as Cx. quinquefasciatus Say, Cx. pipiens form molestus, and hybrids. Results indicate that Argentinian Culex are competent but only moderately efficient vectors of WNV and are less susceptible to this virus than comparable U.S. mosquito strains. Studies of vertical transmission of NY99 virus by Cx. pipiens f. molestus hybrids from Argentina yielded a minimal filial infection rate of 1.19 from females feeding during their second and later bloodmeals. PMID:23926785

  4. [L-Lysine-α-Oxidase in vitro Activity in Experiments on Models of Viruses Sindbis, Forest-Spring Encephalitis, Western Nile, Tyaginya and Dhori].

    PubMed

    Smirnova, I P; Larichev, V F; Shneider, Yu A

    2015-01-01

    The antitumor effect of L-lysine-α-oxidase from the culture fluid of Trichoderma harzianum Rifai F-180 was investigated for the first time. The in vitro studies revealed its high activity on a model of the forest-spring encephalitis virus and no activity against the Sindbis, Western Nile, Tyaginya and Dhori viruses. PMID:26415376

  5. West Nile virus-specific CD4 T cells exhibit direct anti-viral cytokine secretion and cytotoxicity and are sufficient for antiviral protection

    PubMed Central

    Brien, James D.; Uhrlaub, Jennifer L.; Nikolich-Zugich, Janko

    2012-01-01

    CD4 T cells have been shown to be necessary for the prevention of encephalitis during West Nile virus infection. However, the mechanisms used by antigen-specific CD4 T cells to protect mice from West Nile virus encephalitis remain incompletely understood. Contrary to the belief that CD4 T cells are protective because they merely maintain the CD8 T cell response and improve antibody production, we here provide evidence for the direct anti-viral activity of CD4 T cells which functions to protect the host from WNV encephalitis. In adoptive transfers, naïve CD4 T cells protected a significant number of lethally infected RAG−/− mice, demonstrating the protective effect of CD4 T cells independent of B cells and CD8 T cells. To shed light on the mechanism of this protection, we defined the peptide specificities of the CD4 T cells responding to West Nile virus infection in C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice, and used these peptides to characterize the in vivo function of antiviral CD4 T cells. WNV-specific CD4 T cells produced IFN-γ and IL-2, but also showed potential for in vivo and ex vivo cytotoxicity. Furthermore, peptide vaccination using CD4 epitopes conferred protection against lethal West Nile virus infection in immunocompetent mice. These results demonstrate the role of direct effector function of antigen-specific CD4 T cell in preventing severe West Nile virus disease. PMID:19050276

  6. The human and animal health impacts of introduction and spread of an exotic strain of West Nile virus in Australia.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Jover, Marta; Roche, Sharon; Ward, Michael P

    2013-05-01

    Vector-borne diseases can have substantial impacts on human and animal health, including major epidemics. West Nile virus (WNV) is of particular international importance due to its recent emergence and impact in the Western Hemisphere. Despite the presence of a sub-type of WNV (Kunjin virus, KUN) in Australia, a potential ecological niche could be occupied by an exotic strain of WNV of the North American type. This study assesses the probability an exotic strain of WNV enters Australia via an infected mosquito in an aircraft from the United States (U.S.) landing at Sydney airport, the probability it spreads to susceptible species and the impact of the resulting outbreak on human and animal health. A release, exposure and consequence assessment were conducted using expert opinion and scientific literature to parameterise the inputs for the models (OIE, 2009). Following establishment of WNV in Australia, the spatio-temporal spread of WNV was predicted over a six year period based on the Australian human and equine populations at-risk, the known distribution of other mosquito-borne flaviviruses in Australia, climatic factors, and the spread of WNV in the U.S. following it's incursion in New York City in 1999. The impact of this spread was measured as a multiplier of human and equine demographics using the U.S. incidence and case fatality rates as a reference. For an 8 month period from September to April (considering seasonal impact on mosquito activity during the coldest months in Australia and the U.S.), and assuming WNV is endemic in the U.S., the median probability an infected mosquito is introduced is 0.17, and the median number of infected mosquitoes introduced is predicted to be zero, with a 95th percentile range of one. The overall probability of a WNV outbreak (WNV released into Australia, susceptible hosts exposed and the virus spread) occurring in the human and the horse population during this time period is estimated to be 7.0×10(-6) and 3.9×10

  7. Rab8b Regulates Transport of West Nile Virus Particles from Recycling Endosomes.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Shintaro; Suzuki, Tadaki; Kawaguchi, Akira; Phongphaew, Wallaya; Yoshii, Kentaro; Iwano, Tomohiko; Harada, Akihiro; Kariwa, Hiroaki; Orba, Yasuko; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2016-03-18

    West Nile virus (WNV) particles assemble at and bud into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and are secreted from infected cells through the secretory pathway. However, the host factor related to these steps is not fully understood. Rab proteins, belonging to the Ras superfamily, play essential roles in regulating many aspects of vesicular trafficking. In this study, we sought to determine which Rab proteins are involved in intracellular trafficking of nascent WNV particles. RNAi analysis revealed that Rab8b plays a role in WNV particle release. We found that Rab8 and WNV antigen were colocalized in WNV-infected human neuroblastoma cells, and that WNV infection enhanced Rab8 expression in the cells. In addition, the amount of WNV particles in the supernatant of Rab8b-deficient cells was significantly decreased compared with that of wild-type cells. We also demonstrated that WNV particles accumulated in the recycling endosomes in WNV-infected cells. In summary, these results suggest that Rab8b is involved in trafficking of WNV particles from recycling endosomes to the plasma membrane. PMID:26817838

  8. Entomologic Investigations during an Outbreak of West Nile Virus Disease in Maricopa County, Arizona, 2010

    PubMed Central

    Godsey, Marvin S.; Burkhalter, Kristen; Young, Ginger; Delorey, Mark; Smith, Kirk; Townsend, John; Levy, Craig; Mutebi, John-Paul

    2012-01-01

    Entomologic investigations were conducted during an intense outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) disease in Maricopa County, Arizona during July 31–August 9, 2010. The investigations compared the East Valley outbreak area, and a demographically similar control area in northwestern metropolitan Phoenix where no human cases were reported. Five mosquito species were identified in each area, and species composition was similar in both areas. Significantly more Culex quinquefasciatus females were collected by gravid traps at Outbreak sites (22.2 per trap night) than at control sites (8.9 per trap night), indicating higher Cx. quinquefasciatus abundance in the outbreak area. Twenty-eight WNV TaqMan reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction–positive mosquito pools were identified, including 24 of Cx. quinquefasciatus, 3 of Psorophora columbiae, and 1 of Culex sp. However, Cx. quinquefasciatus WNV infection rates did not differ between outbreak and control sites. At outbreak sites, 30 of 39 engorged Cx. quinquefasciatus had fed on birds, 8 of 39 on humans, and 1 of 39 on a lizard. At control sites, 20 of 20 identified blood meals were from birds. Data suggest that Cx. quinquefasciatus was the primary enzootic and epidemic vector of this outbreak. The most important parameters in the outbreak were vector abundance and blood meal analysis, which suggested more frequent contact between Cx. quinquefasciatus and human hosts in the outbreak area compared with the control area. PMID:23109372

  9. VecTest as Diagnostic and Surveillance Tool for West Nile Virus in Dead Birds

    PubMed Central

    Okoniewski, Joseph C.; Therrien, Joseph E.; Kramer, Laura D.; Kauffman, Elizabeth B.; Eidson, Millicent

    2004-01-01

    The VecTest antigen-capture assay for West Nile virus was performed on oral and tissue swabs from dead birds in New York State from April 2003 through July 2004. Results were compared with those from real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction of kidney or brain. Oral VecTest sensitivity is adequate for surveillance in American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) (87%), Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) (80%), and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) (76%). Oral VecTest performed well for small samples of American Kestrels (Falco sparverius), Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), and House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). Poor sensitivity occurred in most raptors, Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura), Fish Crows (Corvus ossifragus), and American Robins (Turdus migratorius). Specificity was excellent (98%), except for false-positive results that occurred mostly in Gray Catbirds (Dumatella carolinensis), Green Herons (Butorides virescens), and tests of blood and tissues. Feather pulp and kidney may be useful for VecTest assays in corvids. PMID:15663856

  10. Meeting the challenge of bioterrorism: lessons learned from West Nile virus and anthrax.

    PubMed

    Crupi, Robert S; Asnis, Deborah S; Lee, Christopher C; Santucci, Thomas; Marino, Mark J; Flanz, Bruce J

    2003-01-01

    Hospital emergency departments (EDs) and ambulatory clinics may be the first to recognize illness related to a bioterrorist event. Every health-care institution must develop a weapons-of-mass- destruction (WMD) preparedness plan as part of its all-hazards disaster planning. As part of an all-hazards disaster plan, WMD preparedness should use the incident-command model to insure the required chain of command for effectively coordinating activities between hospital departments and external agencies. Preparedness for bioterrorism poses unique challenges. In the event of a biological attack, the hospital infection control staff and administration must already have in place the means to communicate with local and state public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local law-enforcement agencies, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Local and regional planners must consider how to coordinate the responses of emergency medical services (EMS), police, and fire departments with healthcare providers and the news media. Most hospitals are ill equipped to deal with a catastrophic event caused by WMD. The burden of responding to such events will fall initially on ED physicians and staff members. The severity of such an incident might be mitigated with careful planning, training and education. The responses of one hospital network to the outbreak of West Nile virus and, more recently, to the threat of anthrax, are presented as guides for bioterrorism preparedness. PMID:12563588

  11. Persistent impacts of West Nile virus on North American bird populations

    PubMed Central

    George, T. Luke; Harrigan, Ryan J.; LaManna, Joseph A.; DeSante, David F.; Saracco, James F.; Smith, Thomas B.

    2015-01-01

    Since its introduction to North America in 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has had devastating impacts on native host populations, but to date these impacts have been difficult to measure. Using a continental-scale dataset comprised of a quarter-million birds captured over nearly two decades and a recently developed model of WNV risk, we estimated the impact of this emergent disease on the survival of avian populations. We find that populations were negatively affected by WNV in 23 of the 49 species studied (47%). We distinguished two groups of species: those for which WNV negatively impacted survival only during initial spread of the disease (n = 11), and those that show no signs of recovery since disease introduction (n = 12). Results provide a novel example of the taxonomic breadth and persistent impacts of this wildlife disease on a continental scale. Phylogenetic analyses further identify groups (New World sparrows, finches, and vireos) disproportionally affected by temporary or persistent WNV effects, suggesting an evolutionary dimension of disease risk. Identifying the factors affecting the persistence of a disease across host species is critical to mitigating its effects, particularly in a world marked by rapid anthropogenic change. PMID:26578774

  12. Human monoclonal antibodies to West Nile virus identify epitopes on the prM protein

    SciTech Connect

    Calvert, Amanda E.; Kalantarov, Gavreel F.; Chang, Gwong-Jen J.; Trakht, Ilya; Blair, Carol D.; Roehrig, John T.

    2011-02-05

    Hybridoma cell lines (2E8, 8G8 and 5G12) producing fully human monoclonal antibodies (hMAbs) specific for the pre-membrane (prM) protein of West Nile virus (WNV) were prepared using a human fusion partner cell line, MFP-2, and human peripheral blood lymphocytes from a blood donor diagnosed with WNV fever in 2004. Using site-directed mutagenesis of a WNV-like particle (VLP) we identified 4 amino acid residues in the prM protein unique to WNV and important in the binding of these hMAbs to the VLP. Residues V19 and L33 are important epitopes for the binding of all three hMAbs. Mutations at residue, T20 and T24 affected the binding of hMAbs, 8G8 and 5G12 only. These hMAbs did not significantly protect AG129 interferon-deficient mice or Swiss Webster outbred mice from WNV infection.

  13. Seasonal and habitat effects on dengue and West Nile virus vectors in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Smith, Joshua; Amador, Manuel; Barrera, Roberto

    2009-03-01

    The presence of West Nile (WNV) and dengue viruses and the lack of recent mosquito surveys in Puerto Rico prompted an investigation on the distribution and abundance of potential arbovirus vectors in the San Juan Metropolitan Area, and their variation with seasons and habitats. We sampled mosquitoes in early and late 2005 in 58 sites from forests, nonforest vegetation, wetlands, and high- and low-density housing areas using ovijars, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention miniature light/CO2 traps, and gravid traps. A total of 28 mosquito species was found. San Juan had potential WNV enzooticvectors (Culex nigripalpus) within and around the city in wetlands and forests, but few were captured in residential areas. A potential WNV bridge vector (Cx. quinquefasciatus) was abundant in urbanized areas, and it was positively correlated with the main dengue vector, Aedes aegypti. High-density housing areas harbored more Ae. aegypti. Container mosquitoes, including Aedes mediovittatus, were more abundant during the climax of the rainy season when most dengue occurs in Puerto Rico. The greatest risk for contracting WNV would be visiting forests and swamps at night. Culex (Culex) and Culex (Melanoconion) mosquito species were more abundant during the transition dry-wet seasons (March-May). PMID:19432067

  14. Association between agricultural land use and West Nile virus antibody prevalence in Iowa birds.

    PubMed

    Randall, Natalie J; Blitvich, Bradley J; Blanchong, Julie A

    2013-10-01

    In the Plains states of the central United States, research suggests that the prevalence of West Nile virus (WNV) disease in humans is higher in agricultural areas than in nonagricultural areas. In contrast, there is limited information about WNV exposure in birds, the primary amplifying host of WNV, in agriculturally dominated landscapes. We evaluated whether exposure to WNV in peridomestic birds sampled in central Iowa varied with the proportion of land use devoted to agriculture. Over the summers of 2009 and 2010, we captured birds in sites comprising gradients of agricultural, urban, and natural land uses, and tested their sera for antibodies to WNV. Overall, WNV antibody prevalence was low (2.3%). Our results suggest that agricultural land use had minimal influence on WNV exposure in birds. We conclude that birds are not likely to be useful indicators of WNV activity in agricultural areas in the Plains states despite human risk being highest in those areas. Antibody prevalence for WNV, however, was higher in American Robins, Mourning Doves, and Northern Cardinals than in other species, making these species potentially useful for monitoring WNV activity in the US Plains states.

  15. Evaluation of antibody response to vaccination against West Nile virus in thick billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha).

    PubMed

    Glavis, Jennifer; Larsen, R Scott; Lamberski, Nadine; Gaffney, Patricia; Gardner, Ian

    2011-09-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was first documented in North America in New York City in 1999. Several deaths attributable to WNV have been reported in captive thick-billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha), an endangered psittacine native to North America. The serologic responses in 12 captive adult thick-billed parrots after a series of three initial WNV vaccine injections with annual boosters over 6 yr was evaluated. In addition, the serologic responses of 11 thick-billed parrot chicks following an initial vaccination series to determine if there were seroconversions were also reported. Most adults (67%) had seroconverted after 5 yr of annual vaccination, with a median titer of 1:80 (range 1:40-1:160) for those that seroconverted. After the first year, birds were likely naturally exposed to WNV, which limited interpretation of titers. None of the chicks seroconverted during the initial three-vaccine series; only two of four chicks (50%) had seroconverted when tested at the 1-yr yearly booster, and at 2 yr, three of four chicks had seroconverted. Although some birds had detectable antibody titers, it is unclear whether this vaccine can reliably provide protection against WNV in thick-billed parrots.

  16. Wolbachia Enhances West Nile Virus (WNV) Infection in the Mosquito Culex tarsalis

    PubMed Central

    Dodson, Brittany L.; Hughes, Grant L.; Paul, Oluwatobi; Matacchiero, Amy C.; Kramer, Laura D.; Rasgon, Jason L.

    2014-01-01

    Novel strategies are required to control mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit. One attractive approach involves maternally inherited endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria. After artificial infection with Wolbachia, many mosquitoes become refractory to infection and transmission of diverse pathogens. We evaluated the effects of Wolbachia (wAlbB strain) on infection, dissemination and transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) in the naturally uninfected mosquito Culex tarsalis, which is an important WNV vector in North America. After inoculation into adult female mosquitoes, Wolbachia reached high titers and disseminated widely to numerous tissues including the head, thoracic flight muscles, fat body and ovarian follicles. Contrary to other systems, Wolbachia did not inhibit WNV in this mosquito. Rather, WNV infection rate was significantly higher in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes compared to controls. Quantitative PCR of selected innate immune genes indicated that REL1 (the activator of the antiviral Toll immune pathway) was down regulated in Wolbachia-infected relative to control mosquitoes. This is the first observation of Wolbachia-induced enhancement of a human pathogen in mosquitoes, suggesting that caution should be applied before releasing Wolbachia-infected insects as part of a vector-borne disease control program. PMID:25010200

  17. Acute flaccid paralysis due to West nile virus infection in adults: A paradigm shift entity.

    PubMed

    Maramattom, Boby Varkey; Philips, Geetha; Sudheesh, Nittur; Arunkumar, Govindakarnavar

    2014-01-01

    Three cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) with preceding fever are described. One patient had a quadriparesis with a florid meningoencephalitic picture and the other two had asymmetric flaccid paralysis with fasciculations at the onset of illness. Magnetic resonance imaging in two cases showed prominent hyperintensitities in the spinal cord and brainstem with prominent involvement of the grey horn (polio-myelitis). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) polymerase chain reaction was positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in the index patient. All three cases had a positive WNV immunoglobulin M antibody in serum/CSF and significantly high titer of WNV neutralizing antibody in serum, clearly distinguishing the infection from other Flaviviridae such as Japanese encephalitis. WNV has been recognized in India for many decades; however, AFP has not been adequately described. WNV is a flavivirus that is spread by Culex mosquitoes while they take blood meals from humans and lineage 1 is capable of causing a devastating neuro-invasive disease with fatal consequences or severe morbidity. We describe the first three laboratory confirmed cases of WNV induced AFP from Kerala and briefly enumerate the salient features of this emerging threat.

  18. Occurrence of avian Plasmodium and West Nile virus in culex species in Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hughes, T.; Irwin, P.; Hofmeister, E.; Paskewitz, S.M.

    2010-01-01

    The occurrence of multiple pathogens in mosquitoes and birds could affect the dynamics of disease transmission. We collected adult Culex pipiens and Cx. restuans (Cx. pipiens/restuans hereafter) from sites in Wisconsin and tested them for West Nile virus (WNV) and for avian malaria (Plasmodium). Gravid Cx. pipiens/restuans were tested for WNV using a commercial immunoassay, the RAMP?? WNV test, and positive results were verified by reverse transcriptasepolymerase chain reaction. There were 2 WNV-positive pools of Cx. pipiens/restuans in 2006 and 1 in 2007. Using a bias-corrected maximum likelihood estimation, the WNV infection rate for Cx. pipiens/restuans was 5.48/1,000 mosquitoes in 2006 and 1.08/1,000 mosquitoes in 2007. Gravid Cx. pipiens or Cx. restuans were tested individually for avian Plasmodium by a restriction enzymebased assay. Twelve mosquitoes were positive for avian Plasmodium (10.0), 2 were positive for Haemoproteus, and 3 were positive for Leucocytozoon. There were 4 mixed infections, with mosquitoes positive for >1 of the hemosporidian parasites. This work documents a high rate of hemosporidian infection in Culex spp. and illustrates the potential for co-infections with other arboviruses in bird-feeding mosquitoes and their avian hosts. In addition, hemosporidian infection rates may be a useful tool for investigating the ecological dynamics of Culex/avian interactions. ?? 2010 by The American Mosquito Control Association, Inc.

  19. Land use patterns and the risk of West Nile virus transmission in central Illinois.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Allison M; Lampman, Richard L; Muturi, Ephantus J

    2014-05-01

    Understanding how human land use patterns influence mosquito ecology and the risk of mosquito-borne pathogens is critical for the development of disease management strategies. We examined how different environments influenced mosquito species composition, abundance, and West Nile virus (WNV) infection rates in central Illinois. Using a combination of gravid traps and CDC light traps, adult mosquitoes were collected every other week from June 24 to September 16, 2012, in four major land use categories-row crops, prairies, forest fragments, and residential neighborhoods. The mosquitoes were identified to species morphologically, and pools of pure and mixed Culex mosquitoes (primarily Culex pipiens and Culex restuans) were tested for WNV-RNA by qRT-PCR. Mosquito species diversity was significantly higher in forest habitats compared to residential, agricultural, and prairie land use categories. All the four landscape types were equally important habitats for WNV vectors Cx. pipiens and Cx. restuans, contrary to previous findings that these species principally inhabit the residential areas. WNV-infected mosquito pools were observed in all land use types, and the infection rates overlapped among land use categories. Although our findings support the importance of residential habitats for WNV transmission to humans, they also establish that prairie, row crops, and wood lots are potentially important refuges for enzootic transmission. This is particularly important in urban ecosystems where these land use categories are small, interspersed fragments serving as potential refuge sites during periods of low rainfall.

  20. Exposure of resident sparrows to West Nile virus evidenced in South Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Hammouda, A; Lecollinet, S; Hamza, F; Nasri, I; Neb, A; Selmi, S

    2015-12-01

    During the last few years, several cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in humans have been reported in Tunisia. However, detailed information on WNV infection in wild birds, the primary amplifying host of WNV, are lacking. In this work, we investigated the exposure of wild sparrows (hybrid Passer domesticus × hispaniolensis) living in two oases in southern Tunisia (Gabès and Kébili oases) to WNV, through the detection of WNV-specific antibodies by using ELISA and microneutralization tests. In total, 208 birds were sampled (54 from Kébili, 154 from Gabès). Anti-WNV antibodies were detected in two birds, corresponding to an overall seroprevalence of 1%. There was no significant difference between the two sampled populations [1·85% (1/54) in Kébili, 0·65% (1/154) in Gabès]. These data provide indirect evidence of the exposure of resident sparrows in southern Tunisia to WNV.

  1. First Outbreak of West Nile Virus Neuroinvasive Disease in Humans, Croatia, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Vilibic-Cavlek, Tatjana; Gjenero-Margan, Ira; Pandak, Nenad; Peric, Ljiljana; Barbic, Ljubo; Listes, Eddy; Cvitkovic, Ante; Stevanovic, Vladimir; Savini, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Between September 6 and 21, 2012, seven human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) neuroinvasive infection were laboratory confirmed in Croatia. The median patient age was 62 years (range 48–77). Five patients presented with meningoencephalitis and two patients with meningoencephalitis followed by acute flaccid paralysis. Four of them had an underlying disease (hypertension). Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), WNV-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies of low avidity were detected in six patients, whereas one showed only IgM antibodies. All samples were confirmed using plaque-reduction neutralization and microneutralization tests. Five patients recovered fully. Before human cases were reported, acute asymptomatic WNV infection was demonstrated by detection of IgM antibodies in sentinel horses. Moreover, an increased WNV IgG seropositivity in horses was detected in counties where human cases occurred. Adulticidal and larvicidal treatments were administered immediately in the respective places of residence. The end of the warm season contributed to the fact that there were no new cases of WNV disease recorded. PMID:24283515

  2. Acute flaccid paralysis due to West nile virus infection in adults: A paradigm shift entity

    PubMed Central

    Maramattom, Boby Varkey; Philips, Geetha; Sudheesh, Nittur; Arunkumar, Govindakarnavar

    2014-01-01

    Three cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) with preceding fever are described. One patient had a quadriparesis with a florid meningoencephalitic picture and the other two had asymmetric flaccid paralysis with fasciculations at the onset of illness. Magnetic resonance imaging in two cases showed prominent hyperintensitities in the spinal cord and brainstem with prominent involvement of the grey horn (polio-myelitis). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) polymerase chain reaction was positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in the index patient. All three cases had a positive WNV immunoglobulin M antibody in serum/CSF and significantly high titer of WNV neutralizing antibody in serum, clearly distinguishing the infection from other Flaviviridae such as Japanese encephalitis. WNV has been recognized in India for many decades; however, AFP has not been adequately described. WNV is a flavivirus that is spread by Culex mosquitoes while they take blood meals from humans and lineage 1 is capable of causing a devastating neuro-invasive disease with fatal consequences or severe morbidity. We describe the first three laboratory confirmed cases of WNV induced AFP from Kerala and briefly enumerate the salient features of this emerging threat. PMID:24753667

  3. Persistent impacts of West Nile virus on North American bird populations.

    PubMed

    George, T Luke; Harrigan, Ryan J; LaManna, Joseph A; DeSante, David F; Saracco, James F; Smith, Thomas B

    2015-11-17

    Since its introduction to North America in 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has had devastating impacts on native host populations, but to date these impacts have been difficult to measure. Using a continental-scale dataset comprised of a quarter-million birds captured over nearly two decades and a recently developed model of WNV risk, we estimated the impact of this emergent disease on the survival of avian populations. We find that populations were negatively affected by WNV in 23 of the 49 species studied (47%). We distinguished two groups of species: those for which WNV negatively impacted survival only during initial spread of the disease (n = 11), and those that show no signs of recovery since disease introduction (n = 12). Results provide a novel example of the taxonomic breadth and persistent impacts of this wildlife disease on a continental scale. Phylogenetic analyses further identify groups (New World sparrows, finches, and vireos) disproportionally affected by temporary or persistent WNV effects, suggesting an evolutionary dimension of disease risk. Identifying the factors affecting the persistence of a disease across host species is critical to mitigating its effects, particularly in a world marked by rapid anthropogenic change. PMID:26578774

  4. Exposure to West Nile Virus Increases Bacterial Diversity and Immune Gene Expression in Culex pipiens.

    PubMed

    Zink, Steven D; Van Slyke, Greta A; Palumbo, Michael J; Kramer, Laura D; Ciota, Alexander T

    2015-10-01

    Complex interactions between microbial residents of mosquitoes and arboviruses are likely to influence many aspects of vectorial capacity and could potentially have profound effects on patterns of arbovirus transmission. Such interactions have not been well studied for West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) and Culex spp. mosquitoes. We utilized next-generation sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA bacterial genes derived from Culex pipiens Linnaeus following WNV exposure and/or infection and compared bacterial populations and broad immune responses to unexposed mosquitoes. Our results demonstrate that WNV infection increases the diversity of bacterial populations and is associated with up-regulation of classical invertebrate immune pathways including RNA interference (RNAi), Toll, and Jak-STAT (Janus kinase-Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription). In addition, WNV exposure alone, without the establishment of infection, results in similar alterations to microbial and immune signatures, although to a lesser extent. Multiple bacterial genera were found in greater abundance inWNV-exposed and/or infected mosquitoes, yet the most consistent and notable was the genus Serratia. PMID:26516902

  5. Neurological approaches for investigating West Nile virus disease and its treatment in rodents.

    PubMed

    Morrey, John D; Siddharthan, Venkatraman; Wang, Hong

    2013-11-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has had a major public health impact since its emergence in the Western Hemisphere; in 2012, nearly 3000 cases of WN neuroinvasive disease were identified in the United States. The underlying mechanisms of WN neurologic disease can only be studied to a limited extent in patients, but can be investigated in much greater detail in animal models. In this paper, we describe how we and others have employed a variety of electrophysiological and neurological techniques to study experimental WNV infections in hamsters and mice. The methods have included electrophysiological motor unit number estimation; optogenetic photoactivation of the spinal cord and electromyography; plethysmography; measurement of heart rate variability as an indication of autonomic nervous system dysfunction; and an assessment of spatial memory loss using the Morris water maze. These techniques provide a more refined assessment of disease manifestations in rodents than traditional measurements of weight loss and mortality, and should make it possible to identify targets for therapeutic intervention and to directly assess the effects of novel treatments. PMID:24055448

  6. West Nile Virus State of the Art Report of MALWEST Project

    PubMed Central

    Marka, Andriani; Diamantidis, Alexandros; Papa, Anna; Valiakos, George; Chaintoutis, Serafeim C.; Doukas, Dimitrios; Tserkezou, Persefoni; Giannakopoulos, Alexios; Papaspyropoulos, Konstantinos; Patsoula, Eleni; Badieritakis, Evangelos; Baka, Agoritsa; Tseroni, Maria; Pervanidou, Danai; Papadopoulos, Nikos T.; Koliopoulos, George; Tontis, Dimitrios; Dovas, Chrysostomos I.; Billinis, Charalambos; Tsakris, Athanassios; Kremastinou, Jenny; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2013-01-01

    During the last three years Greece is experiencing the emergence of West Nile virus (WNV) epidemics. Within this framework, an integrated surveillance and control programme (MALWEST project) with thirteen associate partners was launched aiming to investigate the disease and suggest appropriate interventions. One out of seven work packages of the project is dedicated to the State of the Art report for WNV. Three expert working groups on humans, animals and mosquitoes were established. Medical databases (PubMed, Scopus) were searched together with websites: e.g., WHO, CDC, ECDC. In total, 1,092 relevant articles were initially identified and 258 of them were finally included as references regarding the current knowledge about WNV, along with 36 additional sources (conference papers, reports, book chapters). The review is divided in three sections according to the fields of interest: (1) WNV in humans (epidemiology, molecular characteristics, transmission, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, surveillance); (2) WNV in animals (epidemiological and transmission characteristics concerning birds, horses, reptiles and other animal species) and (3) WNV in mosquitoes (control, surveillance). Finally, some examples of integrated surveillance programmes are presented. The introduction and establishment of the disease in Greece and other European countries further emphasizes the need for thorough research and broadening of our knowledge on this viral pathogen. PMID:24317379

  7. A plant-produced antigen elicits potent immune responses against West Nile virus in mice.

    PubMed

    He, Junyun; Peng, Li; Lai, Huafang; Hurtado, Jonathan; Stahnke, Jake; Chen, Qiang

    2014-01-01

    We described the rapid production of the domain III (DIII) of the envelope (E) protein in plants as a vaccine candidate for West Nile Virus (WNV). Using various combinations of vector modules of a deconstructed viral vector expression system, DIII was produced in three subcellular compartments in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana by transient expression. DIII expressed at much higher levels when targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) than that targeted to the chloroplast or the cytosol, with accumulation level up to 73  μ g DIII per gram of leaf fresh weight within 4 days after infiltration. Plant ER-derived DIII was soluble and readily purified to > 95% homogeneity without the time-consuming process of denaturing and refolding. Further analysis revealed that plant-produced DIII was processed properly and demonstrated specific binding to an anti-DIII monoclonal antibody that recognizes a conformational epitope. Furthermore, subcutaneous immunization of mice with 5 and 25  μ g of purified DIII elicited a potent systemic response. This study provided the proof of principle for rapidly producing immunogenic vaccine candidates against WNV in plants with low cost and scalability. PMID:24804264

  8. Generation and characterization of a monoclonal antibody against prM protein of West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Guo, Li-Ping; Huo, Hong; Wang, Xiao-Lei; Bu, Zhi-Gao; Hua, Rong-Hong

    2014-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), which is an emerging pathogenic flavivirus with increasing distribution worldwide, is the cause of major human and animal health concerns. The pre-membrane (prM) protein of WNV is cleaved during maturation by the furin protease into the structural protein M and a pr-segment. In this study we generated and characterized a monoclonal antibody (MAb) against the WNV prM protein. Western blot analysis showed that the MAb reacted with WNV prM specifically. Immunohistochemistry assays demonstrated that the MAb recognized native prM protein in transfected BHK-21 cells. Preliminary studies were performed to identify the epitope recognized by the MAb using a set of synthesized overlapping peptides spanning the whole length of the prM protein. The MAb reported here may provide a valuable tool for the further exploration of the biological properties and functions of the prM protein and may also be developed for potential clinical applications. PMID:25514166

  9. Land cover variation and West Nile virus prevalence: Patterns, processes, and implications for disease control

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ezenwa, V.O.; Milheim, L.E.; Coffey, M.F.; Godsey, M.S.; King, R.J.; Guptill, S.C.

    2007-01-01

    Identifying links between environmental variables and infectious disease risk is essential to understanding how human-induced environmental changes will effect the dynamics of human and wildlife diseases. Although land cover change has often been tied to spatial variation in disease occurrence, the underlying factors driving the correlations are often unknown, limiting the applicability of these results for disease prevention and control. In this study, we described associations between land cover composition and West Nile virus (WNV) infection prevalence, and investigated three potential processes accounting for observed patterns: (1) variation in vector density; (2) variation in amplification host abundance; and (3) variation in host community composition. Interestingly, we found that WNV infection rates among Culex mosquitoes declined with increasing wetland cover, but wetland area was not significantly associated with either vector density or amplification host abundance. By contrast, wetland area was strongly correlated with host community composition, and model comparisons suggested that this factor accounted, at least partially, for the observed effect of wetland area on WNV infection risk. Our results suggest that preserving large wetland areas, and by extension, intact wetland bird communities, may represent a valuable ecosystem-based approach for controlling WNV outbreaks. ?? Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

  10. West Nile Virus Vector Competency of Culex quinquefasciatus Mosquitoes in the Galápagos Islands

    PubMed Central

    Eastwood, Gillian; Kramer, Laura D.; Goodman, Simon J.; Cunningham, Andrew A.

    2011-01-01

    The mosquito-transmitted pathogen West Nile virus (WNV) is not yet present in the Galápagos Archipelago of Ecuador. However, concern exists for fragile endemic island fauna after population decreases in several North American bird species and pathology in certain reptiles. We examined WNV vector competency of a Galápagos strain of mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus Say). Field specimens were tested for their capacity to transmit the WN02-1956 strain of WNV after incubation at 27°C or 30°C. Rates of infection, dissemination, and transmission all increased with days post-exposure to WNV, and the highest rates were observed at 28 days. Infection rates peaked at 59% and transmission rates peaked at 44% (of mosquitoes tested). Vector efficiency increased after day 14. Rates of infection but not of transmission were significantly influence by temperature. No vertical transmission was detectable. We demonstrate that Galápagos Cx. quinquefasciatus are competent WNV vectors, and therefore should be considered an animal and public health risk for the islands and controlled wherever possible. PMID:21896799

  11. Human monoclonal antibodies against West Nile virus induced by natural infection neutralize at a postattachment step.

    PubMed

    Vogt, Matthew R; Moesker, Bastiaan; Goudsmit, Jaap; Jongeneelen, Mandy; Austin, S Kyle; Oliphant, Theodore; Nelson, Steevenson; Pierson, Theodore C; Wilschut, Jan; Throsby, Mark; Diamond, Michael S

    2009-07-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic flavivirus that is now a primary cause of epidemic encephalitis in North America. Studies of mice have demonstrated that the humoral immune response against WNV limits primary infection and protects against a secondary challenge. The most-potent neutralizing mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) recognize an epitope on the lateral ridge of domain III (DIII-lr) of the envelope (E) protein. However, studies with serum from human patients show that antibodies against the DIII-lr epitope comprise, at best, a minor component of the human anti-WNV antibody response. Herein, we characterize in detail two WNV-specific human MAbs, CR4348 and CR4354, that were isolated from B-cell populations of convalescent patients. These MAbs strongly neutralize WNV infection of cultured cells, protect mice against lethal infection in vivo, and yet poorly recognize recombinant forms of the E protein. Instead, CR4348 and CR4354 bind determinants on intact WNV virions and subviral particles in a pH-sensitive manner, and neutralization is altered by mutations at the dimer interface in domain II and the hinge between domains I and II, respectively. CR4348 and CR4354 human MAbs neutralize infection at a postattachment step in the viral life cycle, likely by inhibiting acid-induced fusion within the endosome.

  12. A role for Ifit2 in restricting West Nile virus infection in the brain.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hyelim; Shrestha, Bimmi; Sen, Ganes C; Diamond, Michael S

    2013-08-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that type I interferon (IFN-I) restricts West Nile virus (WNV) replication and pathogenesis in peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) tissues. However, the in vivo role of specific antiviral genes that are induced by IFN-I against WNV infection remains less well characterized. Here, using Ifit2(-/-) mice, we defined the antiviral function of the interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) Ifit2 in limiting infection and disease in vivo by a virulent North American strain of WNV. Compared to congenic wild-type controls, Ifit2(-/-) mice showed enhanced WNV infection in a tissue-restricted manner, with preferential replication in the CNS of animals lacking Ifit2. Virological analysis of cultured macrophages, dendritic cells, fibroblasts, cerebellar granule cell neurons, and cortical neurons revealed cell type-specific antiviral functions of Ifit2 against WNV. In comparison, small effects of Ifit2 were observed on the induction or magnitude of innate or adaptive immune responses. Our results suggest that Ifit2 restricts WNV infection and pathogenesis in different tissues in a cell type-specific manner.

  13. Exposure of resident sparrows to West Nile virus evidenced in South Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Hammouda, A; Lecollinet, S; Hamza, F; Nasri, I; Neb, A; Selmi, S

    2015-12-01

    During the last few years, several cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in humans have been reported in Tunisia. However, detailed information on WNV infection in wild birds, the primary amplifying host of WNV, are lacking. In this work, we investigated the exposure of wild sparrows (hybrid Passer domesticus × hispaniolensis) living in two oases in southern Tunisia (Gabès and Kébili oases) to WNV, through the detection of WNV-specific antibodies by using ELISA and microneutralization tests. In total, 208 birds were sampled (54 from Kébili, 154 from Gabès). Anti-WNV antibodies were detected in two birds, corresponding to an overall seroprevalence of 1%. There was no significant difference between the two sampled populations [1·85% (1/54) in Kébili, 0·65% (1/154) in Gabès]. These data provide indirect evidence of the exposure of resident sparrows in southern Tunisia to WNV. PMID:25994421

  14. Environmental risk factors for equine West Nile virus disease cases in Texas.

    PubMed

    Ward, Michael P; Wittich, Courtney A; Fosgate, Geoffrey; Srinivasan, Raghavan

    2009-06-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) was first detected in the Texas equine population during June 2002. Infection has since spread rapidly across the state and become endemic in the equine population. Environmental risk factors associated with equine WNV attack rates in Texas counties during the period 2002 to 2004 were investigated. Equine WNV attack rates were smoothed using an empirical Bayesian model, because of the variability among county equine populations (range 46-9,517). Risk factors investigated included hydrological features (lakes, rivers, swamps, canals and river basins), land cover (tree, mosaic, shrub, herbaceous, cultivated and artificial), elevation, climate (rainfall and temperature), and reports of WNV-positive mosquito and wild bird samples. Estimated county equine WNV attack rate was best described by the number of lakes, presence of broadleaf deciduous forest, presence of cultivated areas, location within the Brazos River watershed, WNV-positive mosquito status and average temperature. An understanding of environmental factors that increase equine WNV disease risk can be used to design and target disease control programs.

  15. Effect of aerial insecticide spraying on West Nile virus disease--north-central Texas, 2012.

    PubMed

    Ruktanonchai, Duke J; Stonecipher, Shelley; Lindsey, Nicole; McAllister, Janet; Pillai, Satish K; Horiuchi, Kalanthe; Delorey, Mark; Biggerstaff, Brad J; Sidwa, Tom; Zoretic, James; Nasci, Roger; Fischer, Marc; Hills, Susan L

    2014-08-01

    During 2012, four north-central Texas counties experienced high West Nile virus (WNV) disease incidence. Aerial insecticide spraying was conducted in two counties. To evaluate the effect of spraying on WNV disease, we calculated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) in treated and untreated areas by comparing incidence before and after spraying; for unsprayed areas, before and after periods were defined by using dates from a corresponding sprayed area. In treated areas, WNV neuroinvasive disease incidence before and after spraying was 7.31/100,000 persons and 0.28/100,000 persons, respectively; the IRR was 26.42 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 12.42-56.20). In untreated areas, the before and after incidence was 4.80/100,000 persons and 0.45/100,000 persons, respectively; the IRR was 10.57 (95% CI: 6.11-18.28). The ratio of IRRs was 2.50 (95% CI: 0.98-6.35). Disease incidence decreased in both areas, but the relative change was greater in aerial-sprayed areas.

  16. West Nile Virus Seroprevalence in the Greek Population in 2013: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Survey

    PubMed Central

    Hadjichristodoulou, Christos; Pournaras, Spyros; Mavrouli, Maria; Marka, Andriani; Tserkezou, Persefoni; Baka, Agoritsa; Billinis, Charalambos; Katsioulis, Antonios; Psaroulaki, Anna; Papa, Anna; Papadopoulos, Nikos; Mamuris, Zissis; Tsakris, Athanasios; Kremastinou, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) disease were recorded for three consecutive years in Greece following the year 2010 outbreak. A cross-sectional serologic survey was conducted to estimate the WNV seroprevalence and assess the ratio of infection to neuroinvasive disease. A stratified left-over sampling methodology was used including age and residence strata. A total of 3,962 serum samples was collected and tested for WNV Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies by Enzyme–Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). All positive samples were further tested by Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT) and WNV Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies. WNV IgG antibodies were detected in 82 samples and 61 were also positive in PRNT representing a weighted seroprevalence of 2.1% (95% C.I.: 1.7–2.6) and 1.5% (95% C.I.: 1.2–2.0), respectively. Multivariable analysis showed that seroprevalence was associated with age and residence. The overall ratio of neuroinvasive disease to infected persons was estimated at 1:376 (95% C.I.: 1:421–1:338), while the elderly people had the highest ratio. This nationwide study provided valuable data regarding the epidemiology of WNV in Greece based on the fact that elderly people have higher risk of being both infected and having severe disease. PMID:26605539

  17. Exposure to West Nile Virus Increases Bacterial Diversity and Immune Gene Expression in Culex pipiens

    PubMed Central

    Zink, Steven D.; Van Slyke, Greta A.; Palumbo, Michael J.; Kramer, Laura D.; Ciota, Alexander T.

    2015-01-01

    Complex interactions between microbial residents of mosquitoes and arboviruses are likely to influence many aspects of vectorial capacity and could potentially have profound effects on patterns of arbovirus transmission. Such interactions have not been well studied for West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) and Culex spp. mosquitoes. We utilized next-generation sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA bacterial genes derived from Culex pipiens Linnaeus following WNV exposure and/or infection and compared bacterial populations and broad immune responses to unexposed mosquitoes. Our results demonstrate that WNV infection increases the diversity of bacterial populations and is associated with up-regulation of classical invertebrate immune pathways including RNA interference (RNAi), Toll, and Jak-STAT (Janus kinase-Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription). In addition, WNV exposure alone, without the establishment of infection, results in similar alterations to microbial and immune signatures, although to a lesser extent. Multiple bacterial genera were found in greater abundance in WNV-exposed and/or infected mosquitoes, yet the most consistent and notable was the genus Serratia. PMID:26516902

  18. Chronic Infections of West Nile Virus Detected in California Dead Birds

    PubMed Central

    Padgett, Kerry; Fang, Ying; Woods, Leslie; Foss, Leslie; Anderson, Jaynia; Kramer, Vicki

    2013-01-01

    Abstract During 2010 and 2011, 933 recently deceased birds, submitted as part of the dead bird surveillance program, tested positive for West Nile virus RNA at necropsy. The relative amount of RNA measured by qRT-PCR cycles ranged from 8.2 to 37.0 cycle threshold (Ct) and formed a bimodal frequency distribution, with maxima at 20 and 36 Ct and minima at 28–30 Ct. On the basis of frequency distributions among different avian species with different responses to infection following experimental inoculation, field serological data indicating survival of infection, and the discovery of persistent RNA in experimentally infected birds, dead birds collected in nature were scored as “recent” or “chronic” infections on the basis of Ct scores. The percentage of birds scored as having chronic infections was highest during late winter/spring, when all birds were after hatching year, and lowest during late summer, when enzootic transmission was typically highest as indicated by mosquito infections. Our data indicated that intervention efforts should not be based on dead birds with chronic infections unless supported by additional surveillance metrics. PMID:23488452

  19. Evaluation of Nucleic Acid Preservation Cards for West Nile Virus Testing in Dead Birds

    PubMed Central

    Foss, Leslie; Reisen, William K.; Fang, Ying; Kramer, Vicki; Padgett, Kerry

    2016-01-01

    The California West Nile virus (WNV) Dead Bird Surveillance Program (DBSP) is an important component of WNV surveillance in the state. We evaluated FTA™ and RNASound™ cards as an alternative method for sampling dead birds for WNV molecular testing as these cards allow for more cost effective, rapid, and safer diagnostic sampling than the shipment of bird carcasses. To evaluate accuracy of results among avian sampling regimes, Reverse-Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) results from FTA™ and RNASound™ cards were compared with results from kidney tissue, brain tissue, or oral swabs in lysis buffer in 2012–2013. In addition, RT-PCR results were compared with results from oral swabs tested by rapid antigen tests (RAMP™ and VecTOR™). While test results from the cards were not as sensitive as kidney tissue testing, they were more likely to provide accurate results than rapid antigen tests, and detected WNV in corvids as well as in other passerines, raptors, and waterfowl. Overall, WNV RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) scores from the cards were higher than those from tissue testing, but both card products displayed high sensitivity and specificity. American Crow samples provided the highest sensitivity. The cards also proved to be easier and more convenient vehicles for collecting and shipping samples, and in 2014 our program launched use of RNASound™ cards in the DBSP. Both FTA™ and RNASound™ products displayed 96% agreement with tissue results and are an adequate alternative sampling method for WNV dead bird testing. PMID:27341492

  20. West nile virus infection in the Mesopotamia region, Syria border of Turkey.

    PubMed

    Karakoç, Zehra Çağla; Tüzüner, Bora Mete; Ergonul, Onder; Pierro, Anna; Di Fonzo, Eugenio; Koruk, İbrahim; Sambri, Vittorio

    2013-10-01

    We described the serological prevalence of West Nile Virus (WNV) antibodies among the human population in a historical and strategic region of Turkey. A serologic survey was conducted based on suspected cases in April, 2009, in the Mesopotamia region of Turkey, in the villages that were located alongside the Zergan River. All the sera were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA (Euroimmune™), and the positive samples were tested by immunofluorescent assay (IFA; Euroimmune™). As confirmation, neutralizing antibodies against WNV were tested by microneutralization assay (MNTA). In total, 307 individuals were included. The MNTA test was found to be positive among 52 individuals out of 307 (17%). In multivariate analysis, age >50 [odds ratio (OR)=5.2, confidence interval (CI) 2.76-9.97, p<0.001) and being in an occupational risk group (OR=2.02, CI 1.02-4.04, p=0.044) were found to be the risk factors for WNV seropositivity with the MNTA test. The physicians in the region should be aware of the risk of WNV infection and should be alerted to detect the clinical cases. PMID:23808974

  1. Experimental infection of cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) with varying doses of West Nile virus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oesterle, P.T.; Nemeth, N.M.; VanDalen, Kaci K.; Sullivan, H.; Bentler, K.T.; Young, G.R.; McLean, R.G.; Clark, L.; Smeraski, C.; Hall, J.S.

    2009-01-01

    Cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) were inoculated with differing doses of West Nile virus (WNV) to evaluate their potential role as reservoir hosts in nature. Swallows often nest in large colonies in habitats and months associated with high mosquito abundance and early WNV transmission in North America. Additionally, cliff swallow diet consists of insects, including mosquitoes, leading to an additional potential route of WNV infection. The average peak viremia titer among infected cliff swallows was 106.3 plaque-forming units (PFU)/mL serum and the reservoir competence index was 0.34. There was no correlation between dose and probability of becoming infected or viremia peak and duration. Oral shedding was detected from 2 to 14 days post-inoculation with an average peak titer of 1044 PFU/swab. These results suggest that cliff swallows are competent reservoir hosts of WNV and therefore, they may play a role in early seasonal amplification and maintenance of WNV. Copyright ?? 2009 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  2. Land use patterns and the risk of West Nile virus transmission in central Illinois.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Allison M; Lampman, Richard L; Muturi, Ephantus J

    2014-05-01

    Understanding how human land use patterns influence mosquito ecology and the risk of mosquito-borne pathogens is critical for the development of disease management strategies. We examined how different environments influenced mosquito species composition, abundance, and West Nile virus (WNV) infection rates in central Illinois. Using a combination of gravid traps and CDC light traps, adult mosquitoes were collected every other week from June 24 to September 16, 2012, in four major land use categories-row crops, prairies, forest fragments, and residential neighborhoods. The mosquitoes were identified to species morphologically, and pools of pure and mixed Culex mosquitoes (primarily Culex pipiens and Culex restuans) were tested for WNV-RNA by qRT-PCR. Mosquito species diversity was significantly higher in forest habitats compared to residential, agricultural, and prairie land use categories. All the four landscape types were equally important habitats for WNV vectors Cx. pipiens and Cx. restuans, contrary to previous findings that these species principally inhabit the residential areas. WNV-infected mosquito pools were observed in all land use types, and the infection rates overlapped among land use categories. Although our findings support the importance of residential habitats for WNV transmission to humans, they also establish that prairie, row crops, and wood lots are potentially important refuges for enzootic transmission. This is particularly important in urban ecosystems where these land use categories are small, interspersed fragments serving as potential refuge sites during periods of low rainfall. PMID:24746038

  3. West nile virus in American white pelican chicks: transmission, immunity, and survival

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sovada, Marsha A.; Pietz, Pamela J.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Bartos, Alisa J.

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) causes significant mortality of American White Pelican chicks at northern plains colonies. We tested oropharyngeal/cloacal swabs from moribund chicks for shed WNV. Such shedding could enable chick-to-chick transmission and help explain why WNV spreads rapidly in colonies. WNV was detected on swabs from 11% of chicks in 2006 and 52% of chicks in 2007; however, viral titers were low. Before onset of WNV mortality, we tested blood from < 3-week-old chicks for antibodies to WNV; 5% of chicks were seropositive, suggesting passive transfer of maternal antibodies. Among near-fledged chicks, 41% tested positive for anti-WNV antibodies, indicating that they survived infection. Among years and colonies, cumulative incidence of WNV in chicks varied from 28% to 81%, whereas the proportion of chicks surviving WNV (i.e., seropositive) was 64–75%. Our data revealed that WNV kills chicks that likely would fledge in the absence of WNV, that infection of chicks is pervasive, and that significant numbers of chicks survive infection.

  4. Diagnostic approach for monitoring hydroclimatic conditions related to emergence of west nile virus in west virginia.

    PubMed

    Jutla, Antarpreet; Huq, Anwar; Colwell, Rita R

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), mosquito-borne and water-based disease, is increasingly a global threat to public health. Since its appearance in the northeastern United States in 1999, WNV has since been reported in several states in the continental United States. The objective of this study is to highlight role of hydroclimatic processes estimated through satellite sensors in capturing conditions for emergence of the vectors in historically disease free regions. We tested the hypothesis that an increase in surface temperature, in combination with intensification of vegetation, and enhanced precipitation, lead to conditions favorable for vector (mosquito) growth. Analysis of land surface temperature (LST) pattern shows that temperature values >16°C, with heavy precipitation, may lead to abundance of the mosquito population. This hypothesis was tested in West Virginia where a sudden epidemic of WNV infection was reported in 2012. Our results emphasize the value of hydroclimatic processes estimated by satellite remote sensing, as well as continued environmental surveillance of mosquitoes, because when a vector-borne infection like WNV is discovered in contiguous regions, the risk of spread of WNV mosquitoes increase at points where appropriate hydroclimatic processes intersect with the vector niche. PMID:25729746

  5. The Interferon-Inducible Gene viperin Restricts West Nile Virus Pathogenesis▿

    PubMed Central

    Szretter, Kristy J.; Brien, James D.; Thackray, Larissa B.; Virgin, Herbert W.; Cresswell, Peter; Diamond, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Type I interferon (IFN) signaling coordinates an early antiviral program in infected and uninfected cells by inducing IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) that modulate viral entry, replication, and assembly. However, the specific antiviral functions in vivo of most ISGs remain unknown. Here, we examined the contribution of the ISG viperin to the control of West Nile virus (WNV) in genetically deficient cells and mice. While modest increases in levels of WNV replication were observed for primary viperin−/− macrophages and dendritic cells, no appreciable differences were detected in deficient embryonic cortical neurons or fibroblasts. In comparison, viperin−/− adult mice infected with WNV via the subcutaneous or intracranial route showed increased lethality and/or enhanced viral replication in central nervous system (CNS) tissues. In the CNS, viperin expression was induced in both WNV-infected and adjacent uninfected cells, including activated leukocytes at the site of infection. Our experiments suggest that viperin restricts the infection of WNV in a tissue- and cell-type-specific manner and may be an important ISG for controlling viral infections that cause CNS disease. PMID:21880757

  6. WEST NILE VIRUS ANTIBODY DECAY RATE IN FREE-RANGING BIRDS.

    PubMed

    McKee, Eileen M; Walker, Edward D; Anderson, Tavis K; Kitron, Uriel D; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Krebs, Bethany L; Newman, Christina; Ruiz, Marilyn O; Levine, Rebecca S; Carrington, Mary E; McLean, Robert G; Goldberg, Tony L; Hamer, Gabriel L

    2015-07-01

    Antibody duration, following a humoral immune response to West Nile virus (WNV) infection, is poorly understood in free-ranging avian hosts. Quantifying antibody decay rate is important for interpreting serologic results and for understanding the potential for birds to serorevert and become susceptible again. We sampled free-ranging birds in Chicago, Illinois, US, from 2005 to 2011 and Atlanta, Georgia, US, from 2010 to 2012 to examine the dynamics of antibody decay following natural WNV infection. Using serial dilutions in a blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we quantified WNV antibody titer in repeated blood samples from individual birds over time. We quantified a rate of antibody decay for 23 Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) of 0.198 natural log units per month and 24 individuals of other bird species of 0.178 natural log units per month. Our results suggest that juveniles had a higher rate of antibody decay than adults, which is consistent with nonlinear antibody decay at different times postexposure. Overall, most birds had undetectable titers 2 yr postexposure. Nonuniform WNV antibody decay rates in free-ranging birds underscore the need for cautious interpretation of avian serology results in the context of arbovirus surveillance and epidemiology.

  7. The effect of exogenous corticosterone on West Nile virus infection in Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The relationship between stress and disease is thought to be unambiguous: chronic stress induces immunosuppression, which likely increases the risk of infection. However, this link has not been firmly established in wild animals, particularly whether stress hormones affect host responses to zoonotic pathogens, which can be transmitted to domesticated animal, wildlife and human populations. Due to the dynamic effects of stress hormones on immune functions, stress hormones may make hosts better or poorer amplifying hosts for a pathogen contingent on context and the host species evaluated. Using an important zoonotic pathogen, West Nile virus (WNV) and a competent host, the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), we tested the effects of exogenous corticosterone on response to WNV infection. Corticosterone was administered at levels that individuals enduring chronic stressors (i.e., long-term inclement weather, food shortage, anthropogenic pollution) might experience in the wild. Corticosterone greatly impacted mortality: half of the corticosterone-implanted cardinals died between five - 11 days post-inoculation whereas only one of nine empty-implanted (control) birds died. No differences were found in viral titer between corticosterone- and empty-implanted birds. However, cardinals that survived infections had significantly higher average body temperatures during peak infection than individuals that died. In sum, this study indicates that elevated corticosterone could affect the survival of WNV-infected wild birds, suggesting that populations may be disproportionately at-risk to disease in stressful environments. PMID:22520572

  8. West Nile virus infection in horses in Jordan: clinical cases, seroprevalence and risk factors.

    PubMed

    Abutarbush, S M; Al-Majali, A M

    2014-08-01

    The objectives of this study are to report clinical WNV infection in horses and to determine the seroprevalence of and risk factors for WNV infection in horses in Jordan. In late summer and early fall of 2012, two mares were presented for evaluation of neurological signs. The first mare had hind-limb ataxia. The second mare was slightly depressed and lethargic. She had ataxia in her four limbs and cranial nerves deficits. Both horses were found positive for WNV IgM antibodies using commercial IgM-capture ELISA test. Both horses were treated symptomatically and recovered uneventfully. The occurrence of clinical cases initiated the need for a seroprevalence and risk factors study. Two hundred and fifty-three normal horses were randomly enrolled in the study. Enrolled horses were grouped into five major regions according to the geographical proximity and climatic similarities. From each region, around 50 horses were sampled. The serum collected from each horse was screened by a competitive ELISA, and those that reacted positive using the previous ELISA test were further tested using commercial IgM-capture ELISA test. Sixty-three horses (24.9%) of the 253 surveyed were seropositive to WNV. Of the 63 horses, none had IgM antibodies for WNV. The region with the highest prevalence was Jordan Valley and Balqa. Horses used for polo (OR = 9.77; 95%CI = 1.32-25.44) and horses located in Jordan Valley and Balqa region (OR = 13.31; 95% CI = 2.33-32.54) were identified as risk factors for seropositivity to WNV in Jordan. These risk factors were attributed to the hot and humid weather, which enhance vector availability. West Nile virus appears to be endemic in Jordan. Future studies are warranted to evaluate the virus situation in the country during the next few years in an attempt to control it.

  9. Nesting Ardeid colonies are not a focus of elevated West Nile virus activity in southern California.

    PubMed

    Reisen, W K; Wheeler, S S; Yamamoto, S; Fang, Y; Garcia, S

    2005-01-01

    A large nesting colony of Ardeid birds at the Finney-Ramer Wildlife Refuge in Imperial County, California, did not appear to be a focus of West Nile virus (WNV) amplification during the summer of 2004. Blood samples taken during June and July from 155 nestlings of four species of Ardeid birds (cattle egrets, black-crowned night herons, great egrets, and snowy egrets) and five nestling double-crested cormorants yielded a single WNV isolation from a 3-week-old cattle egret. Antibody was detected by enzyme immunoassay from 20 nestlings (13%), 14 (70%) of which were confirmed as positive by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). However, titration end points against WNV and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) were similar precluding viral identification. The grouping of positives within few nests, highest PRNT titers in youngest birds (<1 weeks of age), the decline of titer with nestling age, and the lack of antibody specificity indicated that antibody may have been acquired maternally and did not represent new infections. Infection rates in Culex tarsalis mosquitoes collected near the Ardeid colony at Ramer Lake (3.1 per 1,000) were statistically similar to rates estimated at the nearby Wister Unit wetlands (5.3 per 1,000) that lacked an Ardeid nesting colony. Black-crowned night heron nestlings experimentally infected with the NY99 strain of WNV produced viremias >5 log10 plaque forming units (PFU)/mL and were considered moderately competent hosts, whereas cattle egret nestlings had viremias that remained <5 log10 PFU/mL and were incompetent hosts.

  10. Induction of epitope-specific neutralizing antibodies against West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Oliphant, Theodore; Nybakken, Grant E; Austin, S Kyle; Xu, Qing; Bramson, Jonathan; Loeb, Mark; Throsby, Mark; Fremont, Daved H; Pierson, Theodore C; Diamond, Michael S

    2007-11-01

    Previous studies have established that an epitope on the lateral ridge of domain III (DIII-lr) of West Nile virus (WNV) envelope (E) protein is recognized by strongly neutralizing type-specific antibodies. In contrast, an epitope against the fusion loop in domain II (DII-fl) is recognized by flavivirus cross-reactive antibodies with less neutralizing potential. Using gain- and loss-of-function E proteins and wild-type and variant WNV reporter virus particles, we evaluated the expression pattern and activity of antibodies against the DIII-lr and DII-fl epitopes in mouse and human serum after WNV infection. In mice, immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies to the DIII-lr epitope were detected at low levels at day 6 after infection. However, compared to IgG responses against other epitopes in DI and DII, which were readily detected at day 8, the development of IgG against DIII-lr epitope was delayed and did not appear consistently until day 15. This late time point is notable since almost all death after WNV infection in mice occurs by day 12. Nonetheless, at later time points, DIII-lr antibodies accumulated and comprised a significant fraction of the DIII-specific IgG response. In sera from infected humans, DIII-lr antibodies were detected at low levels and did not correlate with clinical outcome. In contrast, antibodies to the DII-fl were detected in all human serum samples and encompassed a significant percentage of the anti-E protein response. Our experiments suggest that the highly neutralizing DIII-lr IgG antibodies have little significant role in primary infection and that the antibody response of humans may be skewed toward the induction of cross-reactive, less-neutralizing antibodies.

  11. West Nile virus and greater sage-grouse: estimating infection rate in a wild bird population.

    PubMed

    Walker, Brett L; Naugle, David E; Doherty, Kevin E; Cornish, Todd E

    2007-09-01

    Understanding impacts of disease on wild bird populations requires knowing not only mortality rate following infection, but also the proportion of the population that is infected. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in western North America are known to have a high mortality rate following infection with West Nile virus (WNv), but actual infection rates in wild populations remain unknown. We used rates of WNv-related mortality and seroprevalence from radiomarked females to estimate infection rates in a wild greater sage-grouse population in the Powder River basin (PRB) of Montana and Wyoming from 2003 to 2005. Minimum WNv-related mortality rates ranged from 2.4% to 13.3% among years and maximum possible rates ranged from 8.2% to 28.9%. All live-captured birds in 2003 and 2004 tested seronegative. In spring 2005 and spring 2006, 10.3% and 1.8% respectively, of newly captured females tested seropositive for neutralizing antibodies to WNv. These are the first documented cases of sage-grouse surviving infection with WNv. Low to moderate WNv-related mortality in summer followed by low seroprevalence the following spring in all years indicates that annual infection rates were between 4% and 29%. This suggests that most sage-grouse in the PRB have not yet been exposed and remain susceptible. Impacts of WNv in the PRB in the near future will likely depend more on annual variation in temperature and changes in vector distribution than on the spread of resistance. Until the epizootiology of WNv in sagebrush-steppe ecosystems is better understood, we suggest that management to reduce impacts of WNv focus on eliminating man-made water sources that support breeding mosquitoes known to vector the virus. Our findings also underscore problems with using seroprevalence as a surrogate for infection rate and for identifying competent hosts in highly susceptible species.

  12. Immunoglobulin G avidity in differentiation between early and late antibody responses to West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Fox, Janet L; Hazell, Stuart L; Tobler, Leslie H; Busch, Michael P

    2006-01-01

    In 1999 West Nile virus (WNV) surfaced in the United States in the city of New York and spread over successive summers to most of the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico. Because WNV immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies have been shown to persist for up to 1 year, residents in areas of endemicity can have persistent WNV IgM antibodies that are unrelated to a current illness with which they present. We present data on the use of IgG avidity testing for the resolution of conflicting data arising from the testing of serum or plasma for antibodies to WNV. Thirteen seroconversion panels, each consisting of a minimum of four samples, were used. All samples were tested for the presence of WNV IgM and IgG antibodies, and the avidity index for the WNV IgG-positive samples was calculated. Panels that exhibited a rise in the WNV IgM level followed by a sequential rise in the WNV IgG level were designated "primary." Panels that exhibited a marked rise in the WNV IgG level followed by a sequential weak WNV IgM response and that had serological evidence of a prior flavivirus infection were designated "secondary." All samples from the "primary" panels exhibited low avidity indices (less than 40%) for the first 20 to 30 days after the recovery of the index sample (the sample found to be virus positive). All of the "secondary" samples had elevated WNV IgG levels with avidity indices of > or =55%, regardless of the number of days since the recovery of the index sample. These data demonstrate that it is possible to differentiate between recent and past exposure to WNV or another flavivirus through the measurement of WNV IgG avidity indices.

  13. Limited spillover to humans from West Nile Virus viremic birds in Atlanta, Georgia.

    PubMed

    Levine, Rebecca S; Mead, Daniel G; Kitron, Uriel D

    2013-11-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen that impacts the health of its passerine bird hosts as well as incidentally infected humans in the United States. Intensive enzootic activity among the hosts and vectors does not always lead to human outbreaks, as is the situation throughout much of the southeastern United States. In Georgia, substantial yearly evidence of WNV in the mosquito vectors and avian hosts since 2001 has only led to 324 human cases. Although virus has been consistently isolated from mosquitoes trapped in Atlanta, GA, little is known about viral activity among the passerine hosts. A possible reason for the suppression of WNV spillover to humans is that viremic birds are absent from high human-use areas of the city. To test this hypothesis, multiseason, multihabitat, longitudinal WNV surveillance for active WNV viremia was conducted within the avian host community of urban Atlanta by collection of blood samples from wild passerine birds in five urban microhabitats. WNV was isolated from the serum of six blood samples collected from 630 (0.95%) wild passerine birds in Atlanta during 2010-2012, a proportion similar to that found in the Chicago, IL, area in 2005, when over 200 human cases were reported. Most of the viremic birds were Northern Cardinals, suggesting they may be of particular importance to the WNV transmission cycle in Georgia. Results indicated active WNV transmission in all microhabitats of urban Atlanta, except in the old-growth forest patches. The number of viremic birds was highest in Zoo Atlanta, where 3.5% of samples were viremic. Although not significant, these observations may suggest a possible transmission reduction effect of urban old-growth forests and a potential role in WNV amplification for Zoo Atlanta. Overall, spillover to humans remains a rare occurrence in urban Atlanta settings despite active WNV transmission in the avian population.

  14. The Australian Public is Still Vulnerable to Emerging Virulent Strains of West Nile Virus

    PubMed Central

    Prow, Natalie A.; Hewlett, Elise K.; Faddy, Helen M.; Coiacetto, Flaminia; Wang, Wenqi; Cox, Tarnya; Hall, Roy A.; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle

    2014-01-01

    The mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) is responsible for outbreaks of viral encephalitis in humans and horses with particularly virulent strains causing recent outbreaks in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North America. In Australia, a strain of WNV, Kunjin (WNVKUN), is endemic in the north and infection with this virus is generally asymptomatic. However, in early 2011, following extensive flooding, an unprecedented outbreak of WNVKUN encephalitis in horses occurred in South-Eastern Australia, resulting in more than 1,000 cases and a mortality of 10–15%. Despite widespread evidence of equine infections, there was only a single mild human case reported during this outbreak. To understand why clinical disease was seen in horses without similar observations in the human population, a serosurvey was conducted using blood donor samples from areas where equine cases were reported to assess level of flavivirus exposure. The seroprevalence to WNVKUN in humans was low before the outbreak (0.7%), and no significant increase was demonstrated after the outbreak period (0.6%). Due to unusual epidemiological features during this outbreak, a serosurvey was also conducted in rabbits, a potential reservoir host. Out of 675 animals, sampled across Australia between April 2011 and November 2012, 86 (12.7%) were seropositive for WNVKUN, with the highest prevalence during February of 2012 (28/145; 19.3%). As this is the first serological survey for WNVKUN in Australian feral rabbits, it remains to be determined whether wild rabbits are able to develop a high enough viremia to actively participate in WNV transmission in Australia. However, they may constitute a sentinel species for arbovirus activity, and this is the focus of on-going studies. Collectively, this study provides little evidence of human exposure to WNVKUN during the 2011 outbreak and indicates that the Australian population remains susceptible to the emergence of virulent strains of WNV. PMID:25279370

  15. West Nile virus adheres to human red blood cells in whole blood.

    PubMed

    Rios, Maria; Daniel, Sylvester; Chancey, Caren; Hewlett, Indira K; Stramer, Susan L

    2007-07-15

    Background. West Nile virus (WNV) is endemic in the United States. It is transmissible by blood transfusion, and the nation's blood supply is currently screened for WNV. Documented transmission of WNV infection through red blood cell (RBC) units in which the plasma co-component had a low viral load could be explained, in at least 1 instance, by cell-association of WNV; in this case, the RBC unit was released as negative by minipool nucleic acid testing (NAT) performed on plasma but was intermittently NAT-positive when subsequently tested as an individual sample. We hypothesized that a proportion of WNV bound to blood cells and was not measured by NAT performed on plasma samples. We have investigated whether WNV binds to RBCs, leading to reduction of WNV RNA detection by NAT performed on plasma samples.Methods. Equal volumes of leukoreduced RBCs and their corresponding plasma components from 20 blood donors with NAT results that were positive for WNV were tested in 5 replicates by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction TaqMan for WNV. In addition, aliquots from 8 of the RBC units were tested by infectivity assays using Vero cells.Results. The reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction TaqMan assay showed that the viral load in the RBC components exceeded that in the corresponding plasma units by 1 order of magnitude. In addition, viruses associated with the RBCs were infectious in Vero cell cultures.Conclusions. These observations reinforce the notion that extraction of viral RNA from whole blood could improve assay sensitivity for blood donor screening and further reduce the residual risk of WNV transmission through transfusion.

  16. Vector-Host Interactions Governing Epidemiology of West Nile Virus in Southern California

    PubMed Central

    Molaei, Goudarz; Cummings, Robert F.; Su, Tianyun; Armstrong, Philip M.; Williams, Greg A.; Cheng, Min-Lee; Webb, James P.; Andreadis, Theodore G.

    2010-01-01

    Southern California remains an important focus of West Nile virus (WNV) activity, with persistently elevated incidence after invasion by the virus in 2003 and subsequent amplification to epidemic levels in 2004. Eco-epidemiological studies of vectors-hosts-pathogen interactions are of paramount importance for better understanding of the transmission dynamics of WNV and other emerging mosquito-borne arboviruses. We investigated vector-host interactions and host-feeding patterns of 531 blood-engorged mosquitoes in four competent mosquito vectors by using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method targeting mitochondrial DNA to identify vertebrate hosts of blood-fed mosquitoes. Diagnostic testing by cell culture, real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR, and immunoassays were used to examine WNV infection in blood-fed mosquitoes, mosquito pools, dead birds, and mammals. Prevalence of WNV antibodies among wild birds was estimated by using a blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Analyses of engorged Culex quinquefasciatus revealed that this mosquito species acquired 88.4% of the blood meals from avian and 11.6% from mammalian hosts, including humans. Similarly, Culex tarsalis fed 82% on birds and 18% on mammals. Culex erythrothorax fed on both birds (59%) and mammals (41%). In contrast, Culex stigmatosoma acquired all blood meals from avian hosts. House finches and a few other mostly passeriform birds served as the main hosts for the blood-seeking mosquitoes. Evidence of WNV infection was detected in mosquito pools, wild birds, dead birds, and mammals, including human fatalities during the study period. Our results emphasize the important role of house finches and several other passeriform birds in the maintenance and amplification of WNV in southern California, with Cx. quinquefasciatus acting as both the principal enzootic and “bridge vector” responsible for the spillover of WNV to humans. Other mosquito species, such as Cx. tarsalis and Cx. stigmatosoma, are

  17. Immunodominant West Nile Virus T Cell Epitopes Are Fewer in Number and Fashionably Late.

    PubMed

    Kaabinejadian, Saghar; McMurtrey, Curtis P; Kim, Sojung; Jain, Rinki; Bardet, Wilfried; Schafer, Fredda B; Davenport, Jason L; Martin, Aaron D; Diamond, Michael S; Weidanz, Jon A; Hansen, Ted H; Hildebrand, William H

    2016-05-15

    Class I HLA molecules mark infected cells for immune targeting by presenting pathogen-encoded peptides on the cell surface. Characterization of viral peptides unique to infected cells is important for understanding CD8(+) T cell responses and for the development of T cell-based immunotherapies. Having previously reported a series of West Nile virus (WNV) epitopes that are naturally presented by HLA-A*02:01, in this study we generated TCR mimic (TCRm) mAbs to three of these peptide/HLA complexes-the immunodominant SVG9 (E protein), the subdominant SLF9 (NS4B protein), and the immunorecessive YTM9 (NS3 protein)-and used these TCRm mAbs to stain WNV-infected cell lines and primary APCs. TCRm staining of WNV-infected cells demonstrated that the immunorecessive YTM9 appeared several hours earlier and at 5- to 10-fold greater density than the more immunogenic SLF9 and SVG9 ligands, respectively. Moreover, staining following inhibition of the TAP demonstrated that all three viral ligands were presented in a TAP-dependent manner despite originating from different cellular compartments. To our knowledge, this study represents the first use of TCRm mAbs to define the kinetics and magnitude of HLA presentation for a series of epitopes encoded by one virus, and the results depict a pattern whereby individual epitopes differ considerably in abundance and availability. The observations that immunodominant ligands can be found at lower levels and at later time points after infection suggest that a reevaluation of the factors that combine to shape T cell reactivity may be warranted. PMID:27183642

  18. Limited Spillover to Humans from West Nile Virus Viremic Birds in Atlanta, Georgia

    PubMed Central

    Mead, Daniel G.; Kitron, Uriel D.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen that impacts the health of its passerine bird hosts as well as incidentally infected humans in the United States. Intensive enzootic activity among the hosts and vectors does not always lead to human outbreaks, as is the situation throughout much of the southeastern United States. In Georgia, substantial yearly evidence of WNV in the mosquito vectors and avian hosts since 2001 has only led to 324 human cases. Although virus has been consistently isolated from mosquitoes trapped in Atlanta, GA, little is known about viral activity among the passerine hosts. A possible reason for the suppression of WNV spillover to humans is that viremic birds are absent from high human-use areas of the city. To test this hypothesis, multiseason, multihabitat, longitudinal WNV surveillance for active WNV viremia was conducted within the avian host community of urban Atlanta by collection of blood samples from wild passerine birds in five urban microhabitats. WNV was isolated from the serum of six blood samples collected from 630 (0.95%) wild passerine birds in Atlanta during 2010–2012, a proportion similar to that found in the Chicago, IL, area in 2005, when over 200 human cases were reported. Most of the viremic birds were Northern Cardinals, suggesting they may be of particular importance to the WNV transmission cycle in Georgia. Results indicated active WNV transmission in all microhabitats of urban Atlanta, except in the old-growth forest patches. The number of viremic birds was highest in Zoo Atlanta, where 3.5% of samples were viremic. Although not significant, these observations may suggest a possible transmission reduction effect of urban old-growth forests and a potential role in WNV amplification for Zoo Atlanta. Overall, spillover to humans remains a rare occurrence in urban Atlanta settings despite active WNV transmission in the avian population. PMID:24107200

  19. The West Nile virus assembly process evades the conserved antiviral mechanism of the interferon-induced MxA protein

    SciTech Connect

    Hoenen, Antje; Gillespie, Leah; Morgan, Garry; Heide, Peter van der; Khromykh, Alexander; Mackenzie, Jason

    2014-01-05

    Flaviviruses have evolved means to evade host innate immune responses. Recent evidence suggests this is due to prevention of interferon production and signaling in flavivirus-infected cells. Here we show that the interferon-induced MxA protein can sequester the West Nile virus strain Kunjin virus (WNV{sub KUN}) capsid protein in cytoplasmic tubular structures in an expression-replication system. This sequestering resulted in reduced titers of secreted WNV{sub KUN} particles. We show by electron microscopy, tomography and 3D modeling that these cytoplasmic tubular structures form organized bundles. Additionally we show that recombinant ER-targeted MxA can restrict production of infectious WNV{sub KUN} under conditions of virus infection. Our results indicate a co-ordinated and compartmentalized WNV{sub KUN} assembly process may prevent recognition of viral components by MxA, particularly the capsid protein. This recognition can be exploited if MxA is targeted to intracellular sites of WNV{sub KUN} assembly. This results in further understanding of the mechanisms of flavivirus evasion from the immune system. - Highlights: • We show that the ISG MxA can recognize the West Nile virus capsid protein. • Interaction between WNV C protein and MxA induces cytoplasmic fibrils. • MxA can be retargeted to the ER to restrict WNV particle release. • WNV assembly process is a strategy to avoid MxA recognition.

  20. Determinants of the population growth of the West Nile virus mosquito vector Culex pipiens in a repeatedly affected area in Italy

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The recent spread of West Nile Virus in temperate countries has raised concern. Predicting the likelihood of transmission is crucial to ascertain the threat to Public and Veterinary Health. However, accurate models of West Nile Virus (WNV) expansion in Europe may be hampered by limited understanding of the population dynamics of their primary mosquito vectors and their response to environmental changes. Methods We used data collected in north-eastern Italy (2009–2011) to analyze the determinants of the population growth rate of the primary WNV vector Culex pipiens. A series of alternative growth models were fitted to longitudinal data on mosquito abundance to evaluate the strength of evidence for regulation by intrinsic density-dependent and/or extrinsic environmental factors. Model-averaging algorithms were then used to estimate the relative importance of intrinsic and extrinsic variables in describing the variations of per-capita growth rates. Results Results indicate a much greater contribution of density-dependence in regulating vector population growth rates than of any environmental factor on its own. Analysis of an average model of Cx. pipiens growth revealed that the most significant predictors of their population dynamics was the length of daylight, estimated population size and temperature conditions in the 15 day period prior to sampling. Other extrinsic variables (including measures of precipitation, number of rainy days, and humidity) had only a minor influence on Cx. pipiens growth rates. Conclusions These results indicate the need to incorporate density dependence in combination with key environmental factors for robust prediction of Cx. pipiens population expansion and WNV transmission risk. We hypothesize that detailed analysis of the determinants of mosquito vector growth rate as conducted here can help identify when and where an increase in vector population size and associated WNV transmission risk should be expected. PMID:24428887

  1. Synergized resmethrin and corticosterone alter the chicken's response to west nile virus

    SciTech Connect

    Jankowski, Mark David; Franson, J Christian; Mostl, Erich; Porter, Warren P; Hofmeister, Erik K

    2009-01-01

    Debate concerning arbovirus control strategies remains contentious because concern regarding the relative risk of viral infection and environmental toxicant exposure is high but inadequately characterized. Taking this into account, mosquito control agencies employ aerial insecticides only after arbovirus surveillance data indicate high local mosquito-infection-rates. Successfully mitigating the risk of adult-mosquito-control insecticides ('adulticides') to non-target species such as humans, domestic animals, fish, beneficial insects and wildlife, while increasing their efficacy to reduce arbovirus outbreak intensity requires targeted scientific data from animal toxicity studies and environmental monitoring activities. Wild birds are an important reservoir host for WNv and are potentially exposed to insecticides used for mosquito control. However, no risk assessments have evaluated whether insecticides augment or extend the potential transmissibility of West Nile virus (WNv) in birds. In order to augment existing resmethrin risk assessments, we aimed to determine whether synergized resmethrin (SR) may cause chickens to develop an elevated or extended WN viremia and if subacute stress may affect its immunotoxicity. We distributed 40 chickens into four groups then exposed them prior to and during WNv infection with SR (50 {mu}g/l resmethrin + 150 {mu}g/l piperonyl butoxide) and/or 20 mg/I corticosterone (CORT) in their drinking-water. Corticosterone was given for 10 continuous days and SR was given for 3 alternate days starting the 3rd day of CORT exposure, then chickens were subcutaneously inoculated with WNv on the 5th day of CORT treatment. Compared to controls, CORT treatment extended and elevated viremia, enhanced WNv-specific antibody and increased the percentage of birds that shed oral virus, whereas SR treatment extended viremia, depressed WNv-specific IgG, and increased the percentage of CORT-treated birds that shed oral virus. Corticosterone and SR

  2. Cross-protection between West Nile and Japanese encephalitis viruses in red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus).

    PubMed

    Nemeth, Nicole M; Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Bowen, Richard A

    2009-09-01

    Similar to West Nile virus (WNV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) has a history of intercontinental spread, and birds are important for the maintenance and transmission of both of these closely related viruses. We examined viremic and serologic responses of blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), with and without immunity to WNV, following experimental inoculation with two strains of JEV. Japanese encephalitis (JE) viremia was detected in only one of 16 (6.3%) WNV-immune birds, while all 16 nonimmune birds had detectable JE viremia. Two weeks after JEV inoculation, all birds without pre-existing WNV immunity had clearly distinguishable anti-JEV antibodies, while in all birds with pre-existing WNV immunity, antibodies to WNV and JEV were either indistinguishable or the anti-WNV antibody titers were significantly higher. As WNV is endemic throughout much of North America, WNV immunity among birds may dampen transmission while complicating the serologic diagnosis of JEV, should this pathogen be introduced to North America.

  3. Protection against West Nile Virus Infection in Mice after Inoculation with Type I Interferon-Inducing RNA Transcripts

    PubMed Central

    Escribano-Romero, Estela; Blázquez, Ana-Belén; Sobrino, Francisco; Borrego, Belén; Sáiz, Margarita; Saiz, Juan-Carlos

    2012-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurovirulent single stranded RNA mosquito-borne flavivirus, whose main natural hosts are birds, but it also infects humans and horses. Nowadays, no human vaccine is commercially available and clinical treatment is only supportive. Recently, it has been shown that RNA transcripts, mimicking structural domains in the non-coding regions (NCRs) of the foot-and mouth disease virus (FMDV) induce a potent IFN response and antiviral activity in transfected cultured cells, and also reduced mice susceptibility to FMDV. By using different transcripts combinations, administration schedules, and infecting routes and doses, we have demonstrated that these FMDV RNA transcripts protect suckling and adult mice against lethal challenge with WNV. The protective activity induced by the transcripts was systemic and dependent on the infection route and dose. These results confirm the antiviral potential of these synthetic RNAs for fighting viruses of different families relevant for human and animal health. PMID:23166685

  4. Ecological Forecasting of West Nile Virus Outbreaks in a High-Risk Area of the North-Central United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wimberly, M. C.; Merkord, C. L.; Kightlinger, L.; Vincent, G.; Hildreth, M. B.

    2015-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is the most widespread and important mosquito-borne pathogen in North America. Since its emergence in the western hemisphere in 1999, human WNV disease has continued to exhibit recurrent outbreaks. Perplexingly, the incidence of this tropical disease has been highest in the cold-temperate climates of the Northern Great Plains (NGP). The spatial and temporal distributions of the vector mosquitoes and bird hosts, and consequently the risk of disease in humans, are strongly influenced by temperature, precipitation, vegetation, soils, and land use. We have utilized satellite remote sensing to map these environmental factors through time and develop models of disease risk. Outbreak years in South Dakota were preceded by warm winters, and WNV cases were most likely to occur during the hottest weeks of summer. Hot spots of persistent WNV transmission within the state were associated with rural land cover as well as patterns of physiography and climate. These models are currently being integrated into the South Dakota Mosquito Early Warning system (SDMIS), an automated WNV outbreak detection system that integrates remotely-sensed environmental indicators with vector abundance and infection data from a statewide mosquito surveillance network. The major goal of this effort is to leverage global environmental monitoring datasets to provide up-to-date, locally relevant information that can improve the effectiveness of mosquito control and disease prevention activities. This system was implemented for the first time during the summer of 2015. We will review the outcomes of this implementation, including the underlying influences of temperature on WNV risk, a preliminary statewide WNV risk map, and dynamic risk predictions made during the 2015 WNV season. Lessons learned as well as plans for future years will be discussed.

  5. Short report: absence of protective neutralizng antibodies to West Nile virus in subjects following vaccination with Japanese encephalitis or dengue vaccines.

    PubMed

    Kanesa-Thasan, N; Putnak, J R; Mangiafico, J A; Saluzzo, J E; Ludwig, G V

    2002-02-01

    Protection of individuals against West Nile (WN) encephalitis is an emerging concern in the United States and Europe. We investigated whether immunization with licensed inactivated Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine or experimental live attenuated dengue vaccines resulted in induction of cross-neutralizing antibodies against WN virus. Protective neutralizing antibody titers to WN virus were not detected in any volunteer despite successful immunization to related flaviviruses. Vaccination against JE or dengue is unlikely to prevent WN virus infection but may still protect against disease.

  6. [The spatial distribution and infection of Culex pipiens L. mosquitoes with Western Nile virus in the Volgograd region].

    PubMed

    Fedorova, M V; Borodaĭ, N V; Shaĭkevich, E V

    2015-01-01

    The infection of Culex pipiens f. pipiens and Cx. pipiens f. molestus mosquitoes with Western Nile virus was studied. Their taxonomic status was determined from the type of mitochondrial DNA. Among 424 females individually examined, there were 4 infected specimens: 3 pipens females gathered in the urban and suburban open biotopes and one molestus female caught in the open urban biotope. Molestus mitotype females were first detected in the suburban open biotopes. The possible reasons for the wide colonization of molestus mosquitoes and its epidemic consequences are discussed. PMID:25850309

  7. The naturally attenuated Kunjin strain of West Nile virus shows enhanced sensitivity to the host type I interferon response.

    PubMed

    Daffis, Stephane; Lazear, Helen M; Liu, Wen Jun; Audsley, Michelle; Engle, Michael; Khromykh, Alexander A; Diamond, Michael S

    2011-06-01

    The host determinants that contribute to attenuation of the naturally occurring nonpathogenic strain of West Nile virus (WNV), the Kunjin strain (WNV(KUN)), remain unknown. Here, we show that compared to a highly pathogenic North American strain, WNV(KUN) exhibited an enhanced sensitivity to the antiviral effects of type I interferon. Our studies establish that the virulence of WNV(KUN) can be restored in cells and mice deficient in specific interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) or the common type I interferon receptor. Thus, WNV(KUN) is attenuated primarily through its enhanced restriction by type I interferon- and IRF-3-dependent mechanisms.

  8. Sentinel birds in wild-bird resting sites as potential indicators for West Nile virus infections in Germany.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Ute; Seidowski, Diana; Globig, Anja; Fereidouni, Sasan R; Ulrich, Rainer G; Groschup, Martin H

    2010-06-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus with wild birds as its natural hosts. Ravens, falcons and jays are highly susceptible for WNV and develop deadly encephalitis, while other bird species undergo only subclinical infections. Migratory birds are efficient vectors for geographic spreading of WNV. Until now, WNV infections have not been diagnosed in Germany, but infections in humans and horses have occurred recently in Austria, Hungary and Italy. To investigate potential WNV introduction by infected wild birds, we have monitored the serological status of ducks in three national sentinel stations. No WNV-positive reactions were found, whereas sera from coots from northern Iran were positive.

  9. Assessing Interventions to Manage West Nile Virus Using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis with Risk Scenarios.

    PubMed

    Hongoh, Valerie; Campagna, Céline; Panic, Mirna; Samuel, Onil; Gosselin, Pierre; Waaub, Jean-Philippe; Ravel, André; Samoura, Karim; Michel, Pascal

    2016-01-01

    The recent emergence of West Nile virus (WNV) in North America highlights vulnerability to climate sensitive diseases and stresses the importance of preventive efforts to reduce their public health impact. Effective prevention involves reducing environmental risk of exposure and increasing adoption of preventive behaviours, both of which depend on knowledge and acceptance of such measures. When making operational decisions about disease prevention and control, public health must take into account a wide range of operational, environmental, social and economic considerations in addition to intervention effectiveness. The current study aimed to identify, assess and rank possible risk reduction measures taking into account a broad set of criteria and perspectives applicable to the management of WNV in Quebec under increasing transmission risk scenarios, some of which may be related to ongoing warming in higher-latitude regions. A participatory approach was used to collect information on categories of concern to relevant stakeholders with respect to WNV prevention and control. Multi-criteria decision analysis was applied to examine stakeholder perspectives and their effect on strategy rankings under increasing transmission risk scenarios. Twenty-three preventive interventions were retained for evaluation using eighteen criteria identified by stakeholders. Combined evaluations revealed that, at an individual-level, inspecting window screen integrity, wearing light colored, long clothing, eliminating peridomestic larval sites and reducing outdoor activities at peak times were top interventions under six WNV transmission scenarios. At a regional-level, the use of larvicides was a preferred strategy in five out of six scenarios, while use of adulticides and dissemination of sterile male mosquitoes were found to be among the least favoured interventions in almost all scenarios. Our findings suggest that continued public health efforts aimed at reinforcing individual

  10. West Nile virus in raptors from Virginia during 2003: clinical, diagnostic, and epidemiologic findings.

    PubMed

    Joyner, Priscilla H; Kelly, Sean; Shreve, Allison A; Snead, Sarah E; Sleeman, Jonathan M; Pettit, Denise A

    2006-04-01

    Sixty-one birds of prey admitted to The Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV; Waynesboro, Virginia, USA) from June to November 2003 were tested for West Nile virus (WNV) infection. Choanal and/or cloacal swabs were obtained and submitted to Virginia's Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (Richmond, Virginia, USA) for analysis with real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Forty birds of prey were positive for WNV by RT-PCR. Five avian families and nine species of raptors were represented, with great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) and red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) most frequently affected. Presenting clinical signs were consistent with previous reports of WNV infection in raptors; however, these differed between species. Of WNV positive birds, nonspecific signs of illness were the most common clinical findings, particularly in red-tailed hawks; signs included dehydration (n = 20), emaciation (n = 18), and depression (n = 15). Neurologic abnormalities were frequently identified, especially in great horned owls, and included head tremors (n = 17), ataxia (n = 13), head incoordination (n = 7), torticollis (n = 3), nystagmus (n = 3), and head tilt (n = 3). Great horned owls exhibited anemia and leukocytosis with heterophilia, eosinophilia, and monocytosis consistent with chronic inflammation. Red-tailed hawks were anemic with a heterophilic leukocytosis and regenerative left shift. The majority of WNV cases occurred during August and September; there was a marked increase in the number of raptors admitted to WCV during these months followed by a marked decrease during October, November, and December. This pattern differed from mean monthly admissions during the previous 10 years and suggests a negative impact on local raptor populations. The effects of WNV on avian populations are largely unknown; however, because of their ecological importance, further investigation of the effects of WNV on raptor populations is warranted. PMID

  11. Cascade of ecological consequences for West Nile virus transmission when aquatic macrophytes invade stormwater habitats.

    PubMed

    Mackay, Andrew J; Muturi, Ephantus J; Ward, Michael P; Allan, Brian F

    2016-01-01

    Artificial aquatic habitats are ubiquitous in anthropogenic landscapes and highly susceptible to colonization by invasive plant species. Recent research into the ecology of infectious diseases indicates that the establishment of invasive plant species can trigger ecological cascades which alter the transmission dynamics of vector-borne pathogens that imperil human health. Here, we examined whether the presence or management of two invasive, emergent plants, cattails (Typha spp.) and phragmites (Phragmites australis), in stormwater dry detention basins (DDBs) alter the local distribution of vectors, avian hosts, or West Nile virus (WNV) transmission risk in an urban residential setting. Mosquitoes and birds were surveyed at 14 DDBs and paired adjacent residential sites. During the study period, emergent vegetation was mowed by site managers in three DDBs. In the absence of vegetation management, the overall abundance and species composition of both adult vectors and avian hosts differed between residential and DDB habitats; however, WNV entomological risk indices were equivalent. Communal bird roosts composed primarily of three species, European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), representing a broad range of WNV reservoir competence, were observed at half (three out of six) of the DDBs containing unmanaged stands of phragmites; however, their presence was associated with a lower seasonal increase in vector infection rate. Conversely, mowing of emergent vegetation resulted in a significant and sustained increase in the abundance of WNV-infected vectors in DDBs and the increase in risk extended to adjacent residential sites. These findings indicate that management of invasive plants in DDBs during the growing season can increase, while presence of communal bird roosts can decrease, WNV transmission risk.

  12. Feeding behaviour of potential vectors of West Nile virus in Senegal

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background West Nile virus (WNV) is a widespread pathogen maintained in an enzootic cycle between mosquitoes and birds with occasional spill-over into dead-end hosts such as horses and humans. Migratory birds are believed to play an important role in its dissemination from and to the Palaearctic area, as well as its local dispersion between wintering sites. The Djoudj Park, located in Senegal, is a major wintering site for birds migrating from Europe during the study period (Sept. 2008- Jan. 2009). In this work, we studied the seasonal feeding behaviour dynamics of the potential WNV mosquito vectors at the border of the Djoudj Park, using a reference trapping method (CDC light CO2-baited traps) and two host-specific methods (horse- and pigeon-baited traps). Blood meals of engorged females were analysed to determine their origin. Results Results indicated that Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Cx. neavei may play a key role in the WNV transmission dynamics, the latter being the best candidate bridging-vector species between mammals and birds. Moreover, the attractiveness of pigeon- and horse-baited traps for Cx. neavei and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus varied with time. Finally, Cx. tritaeniorhynchus was only active when the night temperature was above 20°C, whereas Cx. neavei was active throughout the observation period. Conclusions Cx. neavei and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus are the main candidate vectors for the transmission of WNV in the area. The changes in host attractiveness might be related to variable densities of the migratory birds during the trapping period. We discuss the importance of these results on the risk of WNV transmission in horses and humans. PMID:21651763

  13. Land cover, landscape structure, and West Nile virus circulation in southern France.

    PubMed

    Pradier, S; Leblond, A; Durand, B

    2008-04-01

    The transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) is strongly influenced by environmental factors. In France, two endemic areas for WNV have been identified: Camargue and Var. The objective of our study was to test whether landscape characteristics could be associated with the risk of endemic circulation of WNV in these two ecologically different areas. Equine serological data collected during outbreaks in Var (2003) and Camargue (2004) were used. Both areas were marked out in cells of 5 km(2), and data were aggregated for each cell. Sixteen cells, classified as "high" level viral circulation, and 28 cells, classified as "low" level viral circulation were used for the analysis. The Corine Land Cover database (European Environment Agency) was used to evaluate, for each geographic cell, the area covered by 12 land cover classes, as well as the value of 5 landscape metrics (patch richness and density, edge density, the Shannon's diversity index, and interspersion and juxtaposition index (IJI). Multivariate linear generalized regression showed that IJI as well as the surface covered by heterogeneous agricultural areas were significantly higher in high level WNV circulation cells than in low level ones (p = 0.01 and 0.05 respectively). Both variables are indicators of a complex spatial biotope configuration that may favor the co-existence of competent vectors and reservoir hosts: the structure of the landscape thus appeared as a key element in WNV circulation. An internal validation was performed and the model was used to compute a risk map for the French Mediterranean coast. Cells with a probability > 0.8 of having a high level of viral circulation were found near Aix-en-Provence, Beziers, and Perpignan, areas where no serological study has yet been conducted. Equine cases reported in 2006 were all located in the neighborhood of cells having a > 0.8 probability for high WNV circulation status. PMID:18429693

  14. Rural cases of equine West Nile virus encephalomyelitis and the normalized difference vegetation index

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, M.P.; Ramsay, B.H.; Gallo, K.

    2005-01-01

    Data from an outbreak (August to October, 2002) of West Nile virus (WNV) encephalomyelitis in a population of horses located in northern Indiana was scanned for clusters in time and space. One significant (p = 0.04) cluster of case premises was detected, occurring between September 4 and 10 in the south-west part of the study area (85.70??N, 45.50??W). It included 10 case premises (3.67 case premises expected) within a radius of 2264 m. Image data were acquired by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor onboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration polar-orbiting satellite. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated from visible and near-infrared data of daily observations, which were composited to produce a weekly-1km2 resolution raster image product. During the epidemic, a significant (p<0.01) decrease (0.025 per week) in estimated NDVI was observed at all case and control premise sites. The median estimated NDVI (0.659) for case premises within the cluster identified was significantly (p<0.01) greater than the median estimated NDVI for other case (0.571) and control (0.596) premises during the same period. The difference in median estimated NDVI for case premises within this cluster, compared to cases not included in this cluster, was greatest (5.3% and 5.1%, respectively) at 1 and 5 weeks preceding occurrence of the cluster. The NDVI may be useful for identifying foci of WNV transmission. ?? Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

  15. Keeping Blood Transfusion Safe From West Nile Virus: American Red Cross Experience, 2003 to 2012.

    PubMed

    Dodd, Roger Y; Foster, Gregory A; Stramer, Susan L

    2015-07-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) appeared for the first time in the United States in 1999 and rapidly spread across the Western hemisphere within a few years causing hundreds of thousands of human infections and significant disease. In 2002, it was found to be transmissible by blood transfusion, and within less than a year, nucleic acid testing for WNV RNA was in place for all US donations. The American Red Cross (ARC) collects approximately 40% of blood donations in the United States and closely monitors the results of such testing and evaluates donors found to be reactive. This review describes the 10-year results of the ARC testing program during the period 2003 to 2012. Overall, more than 27 million donations were tested during the transmission periods with 1576 RNA-positive donations identified. The temporal and geographic distributions of the infected donors are described. Methods to initiate and discontinue periods of individual donation testing were developed and validated to maximize safety. The nature of WNV infection among donors was investigated, and the distribution of viral titers was defined and was found to be no greater than 720000 RNA copies per milliliter. The distribution of titers by time sequence of appearance of antibodies was determined. Donors who were identified as being in the earliest stages of infection were evaluated for the appearance of symptoms, and 26% developed at least 3 characteristic symptoms. The testing program has been successful in preventing transmission of WNV by transfusion, and only 1 of the 13 reported cases since the initiation of testing was attributable to the Red Cross; it was from a granulocyte product transfused before availability of the test result.

  16. A Human-Health Risk Assessment for West Nile Virus and Insecticides Used in Mosquito Management

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Robert K.D.; Macedo, Paula A.; Davis, Ryan S.

    2006-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has been a major public health concern in North America since 1999, when the first outbreak in the Western Hemisphere occurred in New York City. As a result of this ongoing disease outbreak, management of mosquitoes that vector WNV throughout the United States and Canada has necessitated using insecticides in areas where they traditionally have not been used or have been used less frequently. This has resulted in concerns by the public about the risks from insecticide use. The objective of this study was to use reasonable worst-case risk assessment methodologies to evaluate human-health risks for WNV and the insecticides most commonly used to control adult mosquitoes. We evaluated documented health effects from WNV infection and determined potential population risks based on reported frequencies. We determined potential acute (1-day) and subchronic (90-day) multiroute residential exposures from each insecticide for several human subgroups during a WNV disease outbreak scenario. We then compared potential insecticide exposures to toxicologic and regulatory effect levels. Risk quotients (RQs, the ratio of exposure to toxicologic effect) were < 1.0 for all subgroups. Acute RQs ranged from 0.0004 to 0.4726, and subchronic RQs ranged from 0.00014 to 0.2074. Results from our risk assessment and the current weight of scientific evidence indicate that human-health risks from residential exposure to mosquito insecticides are low and are not likely to exceed levels of concern. Further, our results indicate that, based on human-health criteria, the risks from WNV exceed the risks from exposure to mosquito insecticides. PMID:16507459

  17. Serological, Molecular and Entomological Surveillance Demonstrates Widespread Circulation of West Nile Virus in Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Ergunay, Koray; Gunay, Filiz; Erisoz Kasap, Ozge; Oter, Kerem; Gargari, Sepandar; Karaoglu, Taner; Tezcan, Seda; Cabalar, Mehmet; Yildirim, Yakup; Emekdas, Gürol; Alten, Bulent; Ozkul, Aykut

    2014-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus with significant impact on human and animal health, has recently demonstrated an expanded zone of activity globally. The aim of this study is to investigate the frequency and distribution of WNV infections in potential vectors and several mammal and avian species in Turkey, where previous data indicate viral circulation. The study was conducted in 15 provinces across Turkey during 2011–2013. In addition, the entomological study was extended to 4 districts of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. WNV exposure was determined in humans, horses, sheep and ducks from Mersin, Sanliurfa, Van and Kars provinces of Turkey, via the detection of neutralizing antibodies. WNV RNA was sought in human and equine samples from Mersin, Adana and Mugla provinces. Field-collected mosquitoes from 92 sites at 46 locations were characterized morphologically and evaluated for viral RNA. Neutralizing antibodies were identified in 10.5% of the 1180 samples studied and detected in all species evaluated. Viral nucleic acids were observed in 5.9% of 522 samples but only in horses. A total of 2642 mosquito specimens belonging to 15 species were captured, where Ochlerotatus caspius (52.4%), Culex pipiens sensu lato (24.2%) comprise the most frequent species. WNV RNA was detected in 4 mosquito pools (1.9%), that comprise Oc. caspius Cx. pipiens s.l. and DNA barcoding revealed the presence of Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. perexiguus mosquitoes in infected Culex pools. All WNV partial sequences were characterized as lineage 1 clade 1a. These findings indicate a widespread WNV activity in Turkey, in Eastern Thrace and Mediterranean-Aegean regions as well as Southeastern and Northeastern Anatolia. PMID:25058465

  18. Risk factors associated with West Nile virus mortality in American Crow populations in Southern Quebec.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, Antoinette; Bigras-Poulin, Michel; Michel, Pascal; Bélanger, Denise

    2010-01-01

    Soon after the appearance of West Nile virus (WNV) in North America, a number of public health authorities designated the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) a sentinel for WNV detection. Although preliminary studies have suggested a positive association between American Crow mortality and increased risk of WNV infection in humans, we still know little about dynamic variation in American Crow mortality, both baseline levels and mortality associated with WNV. We hypothesized that the complex social behavior of American Crows, which is shaped by age and seasonal factors, influences both baseline mortality and WNV mortality in American Crow populations. We examined American Crow mortality data from Quebec for the 2005 WNV surveillance year, which lasted from 5 June to 17 September 2005. The variables of interest were age, gender, body condition index, time of year, and land cover. We used a log-linear model to examine baseline mortality. Logistic regression and general linear regression models were constructed to examine variables associated with mortality due to WNV. We found that both age and time of year were key variables in explaining baseline mortality. These two variables were also risk factors for WNV mortality. The probability that a carcass tested positive for WNV increased with the age of the dead bird and as summer progressed. WNV-positive carcasses also had a lower body condition index than WNV-negative carcasses. We believe that the first major wave of American Crow mortality observed in the early summer of 2005 was the result of natural mortality among young American Crows. Because this mortality was not linked to WNV, it appears that American Crow may not be a good species for early detection of WNV activity. Our data also suggest that second-year American Crows play a major role in propagating WNV during their movements to urban land covers during midsummer.

  19. Respiratory insufficiency correlated strongly with mortality of rodents infected with West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Morrey, John D; Siddharthan, Venkatraman; Wang, Hong; Hall, Jeffery O

    2012-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) disease can be fatal for high-risk patients. Since WNV or its antigens have been identified in multiple anatomical locations of the central nervous system of persons or rodent models, one cannot know where to investigate the actual mechanism of mortality without careful studies in animal models. In this study, depressed respiratory functions measured by plethysmography correlated strongly with mortality. This respiratory distress, as well as reduced oxygen saturation, occurred beginning as early as 4 days before mortality. Affected medullary respiratory control cells may have contributed to the animals' respiratory insufficiency, because WNV antigen staining was present in neurons located in the ventrolateral medulla. Starvation or dehydration would be irrelevant in people, but could cause death in rodents due to lethargy or loss of appetite. Animal experiments were performed to exclude this possibility. Plasma ketones were increased in moribund infected hamsters, but late-stage starvation markers were not apparent. Moreover, daily subcutaneous administration of 5% dextrose in physiological saline solution did not improve survival or other disease signs. Therefore, infected hamsters did not die from starvation or dehydration. No cerebral edema was apparent in WNV- or sham-infected hamsters as determined by comparing wet-to-total weight ratios of brains, or by evaluating blood-brain-barrier permeability using Evans blue dye penetration into brains. Limited vasculitis was present in the right atrium of the heart of infected hamsters, but abnormal electrocardiograms for several days leading up to mortality did not occur. Since respiratory insufficiency was strongly correlated with mortality more than any other pathological parameter, it is the likely cause of death in rodents. These animal data and a poor prognosis for persons with respiratory insufficiency support the hypothesis that neurological lesions affecting respiratory function may be the

  20. Neurological suppression of diaphragm electromyographs in hamsters infected with West Nile virus.

    PubMed

    Morrey, John D; Siddharthan, Venkatraman; Wang, Hong; Hall, Jeffery O; Motter, Neil E; Skinner, Robert D; Skirpstunas, Ramona T

    2010-07-01

    To address the hypothesis that respiratory distress associated with West Nile virus (WNV) is neurologically caused, electromyographs (EMGs) were measured longitudinally from the diaphragms of alert hamsters infected subcutaneously (s.c.) with WNV. The EMG activity in WNV-infected hamsters was consistently and significantly (P