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J Math Biol. 2014 May;68(6):1553-82. doi: 10.1007/s00285-013-0677-3. Epub 2013 May 8.

Transmission dynamics of West Nile virus in mosquitoes and corvids and non-corvids.

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Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada.


There are more than 300 avian species that can transmit West Nile virus (WNv). In general, the corvid and non-corvid families of birds have different responses to the virus, with corvids suffering a higher disease-induced mortality rate. By taking both corvids and non-corvids as the primary reservoir hosts and mosquitoes as vectors; we formulate and study a system of ordinary differential equations to model a single season of the transmission dynamics of WNv in the mosquito-bird cycle. We calculate the basic reproduction number and analyze the existence and stability of the equilibria. The existence of a backward bifurcation gives a further sub-threshold condition beyond the basic reproduction number for the spread of the virus. We also discuss the role of corvids and non-corvids in spreading the virus. We conclude that knowledge of the relative abundance of corvid bird species and other mammals assist us in accurate estimation of the epidemic of WNv.

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