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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2003 Sep;69(3):260-2.

Poor replication of West Nile virus (New York 1999 strain) in three reptilian and one amphibian species.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado 80522, USA.


Because West Nile (WN) virus primarily cycles between mosquitoes and birds, North American reptiles and amphibians have not been evaluated as reservoir hosts of this virus. We infected three species of reptiles and one species of amphibian: Iguana iguana (green iguana), Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis (Florida garter snake), Trachymes scripta elegans (red-ear slider), and Rana catesbeiana (North American bullfrog). After inoculation with WN virus, some of the green iguanas, bullfrogs, and garter snakes showed low but detectable viral loads in the blood, oral or cloacal swabs, and/or organs.

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