Volume 73, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


West Nile virus (WNV) infections in free-ranging birds were studied in Slidell, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, after a human encephalitis outbreak peaked there in July 2002. Seroprevalence in resident, free-ranging wild birds in one suburban site was 25% and 24% in August and October, respectively, indicating that most transmission had ceased by early August. Mortality rates, seroprevalence rates, host competence, and crude population estimates were used in mathematical models to predict actual infection rates, population impacts, and importance as amplifying hosts for several common passerine birds. Northern cardinal () and house sparrow () were the principal amplifying hosts, but blue jay () and northern mockingbird () also contributed. The blue jay population was reduced by an estimated 47%. A variety of passerine bird species combined to play an important role as amplifying hosts in the WNV transmission cycle.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Komar N, 2003. West Nile virus: epidemiology and ecology in North America. Adv Vir Res 61 : 185–234. [Google Scholar]
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002. West Nile virus activity—United States, 2001. MMWR Morb Mortal Weekly Rep 51 : 497–501. [Google Scholar]
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002. West Nile virus activity—United States, July 31–August 7, 2002, and Louisiana, January 1–August 7, 2002. MMWR Morb Mort Rep 51 : 681–683. [Google Scholar]
  4. Komar N, Panella NA, Burns JE, Dusza SW, Mascarenhas TM, Talbot TO, 2001. Serologic evidence for West Nile virus infection in birds in the New York City vicinity during an outbreak in 1999. Emerg Infect Dis 7 : 621–625. [Google Scholar]
  5. Komar N, Burns J, Dean C, Panella NA, Dusza S, Cherry B, 2001. Serological evidence for West Nile virus infection in birds in Staten Island, New York after an outbreak in 2000. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 1 : 191–196. [Google Scholar]
  6. Godsey MS, Blackmore M, Panella N, Burkhalter K, Gottfried K, Halsey L, Rutledge R, Langevin S, Gates R, LaMonte K, Lambert A, Lanciotti R, Loyless T, Stark L, Olivieri R, Conti L, Komar N, 2005. West Nile virus epizootiology in the southeastern United States, 2001. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 5 : 82–89. [Google Scholar]
  7. Godsey MS Jr, Nasci R, Savage HM, Aspen S, King R, Powers AM, Burkhalter K, Colton L, Charnetzky D, Lasater S, Taylor V, Palmisano CT, 2005. West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes, Louisiana, 2002. Emerg Inf Dis 11 : 1399–1404. [Google Scholar]
  8. Dietrich G, Montenieri JA, Panella NA, Langevin S, Lasater SE, Klenk K, Kile JC, Komar N, 2005. Serologic evidence of West Nile virus infection in free-ranging mammals, Slidell, Louisiana, 2002. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 5 : 288–292. [Google Scholar]
  9. Beaty BJ, Calisher CH, Shope RE, 1995. Arboviruses. Lennette EH, Lennette DA, Lennette ET, eds. Diagnostic Procedures for Viral, Rickettsial, and Chlamydial Infections. Seventh edition. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 189–212.
  10. Lanciotti RS, Kerst AJ, Nasci RS, Godsey MS, Mitchell CJ, Savage HM, Komar N, Panella NA, Allen BC, Volpe KE, Davis BS, Roehrig JT, 2000. Rapid detection of West Nile virus from human clinical specimens, field-collected mosquitoes, and avian samples by a TaqMan reverse transcriptase-PCR assay. J Clin Microbiol 38 : 4066–4071. [Google Scholar]
  11. Komar N, Dohm DJ, Turell MJ, Spielman A, 1999. Eastern equine encephalitis in birds: Relative competence of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Am J Trop Med Hyg 60 : 387–391. [Google Scholar]
  12. Komar N, Langevin S, Hinten S, Nemeth N, Edwards E, Hettler D, Davis B, Bowen R, Bunning M, 2003. Experimental infection of North American birds with the New York 1999 strain of West Nile virus. Emerg Infect Dis 9 : 311–322. [Google Scholar]
  13. Lincoln FC, 1930. Calculating waterfowl abundance on the basis of banding returns. US Dept Agric Circ No 118 : 1–4. [Google Scholar]
  14. Williams BK, Nichols JD, Conroy MJ, 2001. Analysis and Management of Animal Populations. San Diego: Academic Press.
  15. Scott TW, 1988. Vertebrate host ecology. Monath TP, ed. The Arboviruses: Epidemiology and Ecology. Volume I. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 257–280.
  16. Komar N, 2001. West Nile virus surveillance using sentinel birds. Annals NY Acad Sci 951 : 58–73. [Google Scholar]
  17. Palmisano CT, Taylor V, Caillouet K, Byrd B, Wesson DM, 2005. Impact of West Nile virus outbreak upon St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement District. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 21 : 33–38. [Google Scholar]
  18. Peterson AT, Komar N, Komar O, Navarro-Siguenza A, Robbins MB, Martinez-Meyer E, 2004. West Nile virus in the New World: potential impacts on bird species. Bird Conservation International 14 : 215–232. [Google Scholar]
  19. Lillibridge KM, Parsons R, Randle Y, Travassos da Rosa AP, Guzman H, Siirin M, Wuithiranyagool T, Hailey C, Higgs S, Bala AA, Pascua R, Meyer T, Vanlandingham DL, Tesh RB, 2004. The 2002 introduction of West Nile virus into Harris County, Texas, an area historically endemic for St. Louis encephalitis. Am J Trop Med Hyg 70 : 676–681. [Google Scholar]
  20. Sardelis MR, Turell MJ, Dohm DJ, O’Guinn ML, 2001. Vector competence of selected North American Culex and Coquillettidia mosquitoes for West Nile virus. Emerg Infect Dis 7 : 1018–1022. [Google Scholar]
  21. Gill FB, 1995. Ornithology. Second edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co., 486–489.

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 22 Jul 2004
  • Accepted : 06 Jan 2005

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error