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Viruses 2018, 10(2), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10020087

A Survey on West Nile and Usutu Viruses in Horses and Birds in Poland

1
Department of Pathology, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-375 Wroclaw, Poland
2
National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg 2131, South Africa
3
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
4
The Wild Animal and Bird of Prey Breeding and Protection Center (ZYS Foundation), 54-530 Wroclaw, Poland
5
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine with Dentistry Division in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia, 40-055 Katowice, Poland
6
Department of Reproduction and Clinic of Farm Animals, University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-375 Wroclaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
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Abstract

West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) are members of the family Flaviviridae which, natural life cycles involve mosquito–bird–mosquito transmission. Both represent emerging viruses in Europe with potential to cause neuroinvasive disease in humans. This study investigates the seroprevalence of serum neutralizing antibodies to WNV and to USUV in birds and in horses in Poland. Antibodies against WNV and USUV were detected in 5 (35.7%) and in 1 (7.14%) of 14 birds and in 62 (15.08%) and in 115 (27.98%) of 411 horses, respectively. Twenty-one WNV serologically positive horses (33.87%) and 67 USUV serologically positive horses (58.26%) did not travel outside Polish borders. Given the high abundance of potentially competent mosquito species in Poland, high populations of horses and different bird species, our findings highlight implementation of active control programs, including monitoring of geographic spread and dynamics of WNV and USUV transmission in both primary and accidental hosts. It is also important to improve public health awareness about the disease these viruses may cause. View Full-Text
Keywords: West Nile virus; Usutu virus; antibody; Poland; horses; birds West Nile virus; Usutu virus; antibody; Poland; horses; birds
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Bażanów, B.; Jansen van Vuren, P.; Szymański, P.; Stygar, D.; Frącka, A.; Twardoń, J.; Kozdrowski, R.; Pawęska, J.T. A Survey on West Nile and Usutu Viruses in Horses and Birds in Poland. Viruses 2018, 10, 87.

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