Volume 72, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The observation of avian mortality associated with West Nile virus (WNV) infection has become a hallmark epidemiologic feature in the recent emergence of this pathogen in Israel and North America. To determine if phenotypic differences exist among different WNV isolates, we exposed house sparrows () to low passage, lineage 1 WNV strains from North America (NY99), Kenya (KEN), and Australia (KUN; also known as Kunjin virus). House sparrows inoculated with the NY99 and KEN strains experienced similar mortality rates and viremia profiles. The KUN strain elicited significantly lower-titered viremia when compared with the other strains and induced no mortality. This study suggests that natural mortality in house sparrows due to Old World strains of WNV may be occurring where the KEN strain occurs.


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  • Received : 26 May 2004
  • Accepted : 12 Jul 2004

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