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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: West Nile Virus Causes Fatal Encephalitis and Myocarditis in Young Domesticgeese

Authors
item Swayne, David
item Beck, Joan
item Smith,, Calandra - CDC - ATLANTA, GA
item Sheih,, Wun-Ju - CDC - ATLANTA, GA
item Zaki,, Sharif - CDC - ATLANTA, GA

Submitted to: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2001
Publication Date: July 2, 2001

Interpretive Summary: In the fall of 1999, a new disease appeared in the northeast USA and affected humans, horses, and wild and zoological birds. This disease was caused by a virus, West Nile virus, which was transmitted through mosquitos. In an experimental study, the West Nile virus caused depression, weight loss, twisting of the head and death in young domestic geese. The virus attached the brain and heart. A large quantity of the virus was found in the blood. The West Nile virus is a threat to cause disease in domestic geese and levels of virus in the blood are sufficiently high to infect mosquitos.

Technical Abstract: During 1999 and 2000, a disease outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) occurred in humans, horses, and wild and zoological birds in the northeastern USA. In the current experimental study, WNV infection of young domestic geese (Anser anser domesticus) caused depression, weight loss, torticollis, opisthotonus and death with accompanying encephalitis and myocarditis. High htiters of WNV were recovered from plasma. WNV is a disease threat to young goslings and viremia levels were sufficient to infect mosquitoes and transmit WNV to other animal species.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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