Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/11/2003
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: West Nile virus (WNV) is a member of the Flaviviridae family (genus Flavivirus), transmitted among bird populations by mosquitoes and incidentally infects mammals. First recognized in the United States in the New York City area in 1999, WNV has subsequently spread across the United States. Numerous cases of WNV-induced non-suppurative encephalomyelitis have been documented in horses since 1999. Here we describe non-suppurative encephalomyelitis in 4 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) resulting from WNV infection. Clinical signs and lesions were similar to those described in horses with non-suppurative inflammation most common in the medulla oblongata and cervical spinal cord. Immunohistochemistry revealed WNV antigen within neurons and among mononuclear cell infiltrates. Nucleotide sequence of a 768 basepair region of the WNV E-glycoprotein gene revealed one nucleotide mutation, which resulted in an amino acid substitution from a serine to a glycine (position 227 of E-glycoprotein) when compared with the prototype WNV-NY99 strain (isolated from Bronx zoo flamingo 382-99).