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Prevalence of West Nile virus neutralizing antibodies in colonial aquatic birds in southern Spain

AuthorsFiguerola, Jordi ; Jiménez-Clavero, Miguel A.; Rojo, Gema; Gómez Tejedor, Concepción; Soriguer, Ramón C.
Issue Date2007
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationAvian Pathology (June 2007) 36(3), 209 — 212
AbstractThe rapid expansion of West Nile virus (WNV) throughout the New World has raised interest in under- standing the population dynamics and patterns of dispersal of emerging infectious diseases by wildlife. WNV affects humans, although its main reservoirs are various species of birds. Here we analyse the prevalence of WNV-neutralizing antibodies in nearly full-grown chicks belonging to seven different species of colonial waterbirds at three localities in southern Spain. Chicks with neutralizing antibodies against WNV were detected in three species and at all three localities. However, the low antibody titres suggest the presence of antibodies is probably due to maternal transfer of antibody, presumably from exposure of the adult birds to WNV or a similar flavivirus at some stage of their lives. The analyses of the movements of tagged birds confirmed that all species with antibody visit regions that have had reports of WNV infection over the past decade.
Publisher version (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03079450701332329
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