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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Dec;951:84-93.

West Nile virus infection in birds and mammals.

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Arbovirus Laboratories, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Slingerlands 12159, USA.


West Nile virus (WNV) was found throughout New York State in year 2000. The epicenter was located in New York City with a high level of activity in the immediately surrounding counties, including Rockland, Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk. During 2000, WNV testing was performed by the Wadsworth Center on 3,687 dead birds, representing 153 species, 46 families, and 18 orders. There were 1,203 WNV-positive birds, representing 63 species, 30 families and 14 orders. The percentage of WNV-positive birds was 33% for all birds tested throughout the state, with no significant difference in infection rates in migratory versus resident birds, although significantly more resident birds were submitted for testing. The highest apparent mortality for the entire season was observed in American crows in Staten Island, a location that also showed the highest minimal infection rate in Culex pipiens complex mosquitoes. Studies examining tissue tropism of WNV in corvids and noncorvids from the epicenter and from remote locations indicated that the kidney was the most consistently infected tissue in birds, regardless of level of infection. The brain was the next most consistently positive tissue. The differences in infection among the tissues were most apparent when low levels of virus were present. Experimental mouse inoculation demonstrated a classical flavivirus infection pattern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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