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West Nile Virus Associations in Wild Mammals: An Update

1
U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA
2
Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(5), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11050459
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 21 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue West Nile Virus 2019)
Although West Nile virus (WNV) is generally thought to circulate among mosquitoes and birds, several historic and recent works providing evidence of WNV activity in wild mammals have been published. Indeed, a previous review tabulated evidence of WNV exposure in at least 100 mammalian species. Herein, we provide an update on WNV activity in wild and select other mammals that have been reported since the last major review article on this subject was published in early 2013. Of interest, new species, such as Hoffman’s two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni), are now included in the growing list of wild mammals that have been naturally exposed to WNV. Furthermore, new instances of WNV viremia as well as severe disease presumably caused by this virus have been reported in wild mammals (e.g., the Virginia opossum [Didelphis virginiana]) from natural and semi-captive (e.g., zoological institution) settings. Regrettably, few recent challenge studies have been conducted on wild mammals, which would provide key information as to their potential role(s) in WNV cycles. Largely based on these recent findings, important future lines of research are recommended to assess which mammalian species are commonly exposed to WNV, which mammal species develop viremias sufficient for infecting mosquitoes, and which mammal species might be negatively affected by WNV infection at the species or population level. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibodies; artiodactyla; carnivore; experimental infection; exposure; flavivirus; mammal; mesocarnivore; rodent; West Nile virus; wildlife; viremia antibodies; artiodactyla; carnivore; experimental infection; exposure; flavivirus; mammal; mesocarnivore; rodent; West Nile virus; wildlife; viremia
MDPI and ACS Style

Root, J.J.; Bosco-Lauth, A.M. West Nile Virus Associations in Wild Mammals: An Update. Viruses 2019, 11, 459.

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