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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2015 Mar;13(3):317-25. doi: 10.1586/14787210.2015.1007043. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

Risk factors for West Nile virus infection and disease in populations and individuals.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 300 Cedar Street/TAC S413, New Haven, CT 06520-8031, USA.


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 1700 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.


West Nile virus; aging; avian reservoir; epizootic spread; immune response; mosquito vector; mouse model

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