West Nile virus antibodies in permanent resident and overwintering migrant birds in south-central Kansas

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Authors
Shelite, Thomas R.
Rogers, Christopher M.
Litzner, Brandon R.
Johnson, R. Roy
Schneegurt, Mark A.
Issue Date
2008-06
Type
Article
Language
eng
Keywords
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Projects
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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. KeyWords: West Nile Virus-flavivirus-birds-epitope-blocking ELISA-winter.

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Citation
Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.). 2008 Jun; 8(3): 321-9.
Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert
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PubMed ID
DOI
ISSN
1530-3667
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