Volume 84, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



West Nile virus (WNV) is generally considered to be an urban pathogen in the United States, but studies associating land cover and disease incidence, seroprevalence, or infection rate in humans, birds, domesticated and wild mammals, and mosquitoes report varying and sometimes contradictory results at an array of spatial extents. Human infection can provide insight about basic transmission activity; therefore, we analyzed data on the incidence of WNV disease in humans to obtain a comprehensive picture of how human disease and land cover type are associated across the United States. Human WNV disease incidence in Northeastern regions was positively associated with urban land covers, whereas incidence in the Western United States was positively associated with agricultural land covers. We suggest that these regional associations are explained by the geographic distributions of prominent WNV vectors: complex (including and ) in the Northeast and in the Western United States.


Article metrics loading...

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

Full text loading...



  1. Kramer LD, Styer LM, Ebel GD, , 2008. A global perspective on the epidemiology of West Nile virus. Annu Rev Entomol 53: 6181.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. West Nile Virus: Statistics, Surveillance, and Control, 2002–2008. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/surv&control.htm. Accessed July 15, 2010. [Google Scholar]
  3. Brown HE, Childs JE, Diuk-Wasser MA, Fish D, , 2008. Ecological factors associated with West Nile virus transmission, northeastern United States. Emerg Infect Dis 14: 15391545.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  4. LaBeaud AD, Gorman AM, Koonce J, Kippes C, McLeod J, Lynch J, Gallagher T, King CH, Mandalakas AM, , 2008. Rapid GIS-based profiling of West Nile virus transmission: defining environmental factors associated with an urban-suburban outbreak in Northeast Ohio, USA. Geospat Health 2: 215225.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  5. DeGroote JP, Sugumaran R, Brend SM, Tucker BJ, Bartholomay LC, , 2008. Landscape, demographic, entomological, and climatic associations with human disease incidence of West Nile virus in the state of Iowa, USA. Int J Health Geogr 7: 19.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  6. Warner RD, Kimbrough RC, Pierce JR, Ward T, Martinelli LP, , 2006. Human West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease in Texas, 2003 epidemic: regional differences. Ann Epidemiol 16: 749755.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  7. Bradley CA, Gibbs SEJ, Altizer S, , 2008. Urban land use predicts West Nile virus exposure in songbirds. Ecol Appl 18: 10831092.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  8. Gomez A, Kilpatrick AM, Kramer LD, Dupuis AP, Maffei JG, Goetz SJ, Marra PP, Daszak P, Aguirre AA, , 2008. Land use and West Nile virus seroprevalence in wild mammals. Emerg Infect Dis 14: 962965.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  9. Ward MP, Wittich CA, Fosgate G, Srinivasan R, , 2009. Environmental risk factors for equine West Nile virus disease cases in Texas. Vet Res Commun 33: 461471.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  10. Gibbs SEJ, Wimberly MC, Madden M, Masour J, Yabsley MJ, Stallknecht DE, , 2006. Factors affecting the geographic distribution of West Nile virus in Georgia, USA: 2002–2004. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 6: 7382.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  11. DiMenna MA, Bueno R, Parmenter RR, Norris DE, Sheyka JM, Molina JL, LaBeau EM, Hatton ES, Glass GE, , 2006. Emergence of West Nile virus in mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) communities of the New Mexico Rio Grande valley. J Med Entomol 43: 594599.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  12. Ezenwa VO, Milheim LE, Coffey MF, Godsey MS, King RJ, Guptill SC, , 2007. Land cover variation and West Nile virus prevalence: patterns, processes, and implications for disease control. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 7: 173180.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  13. Allan BF, Langerhans RB, Ryberg WA, Landesman WJ, Griffin NW, Katz RS, Oberle BJ, Schutzenhofer MR, Smyth KN, de St. Maurice A, Clark L, Crooks KR, Hernandez DE, McLean RG, Ostfeld RS, Chase JM, , 2009. Ecological correlates of risk and incidence of West Nile virus in the United States. Oecologia 158: 699708.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  14. United States Census Bureau, 2000. Multiple Resources. Available at: http://www.census.gov. Accessed July 15, 2010. [Google Scholar]
  15. Homer CG, Huang CC, Yang L, Wylie B, Coan M, , 2004. Development of a 2001 National Landcover Database for the United States. Photogramm Eng Remote Sensing 70: 829840.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  16. Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), 2006. ArcGIS 9.2. Redlands, CA: Environmental Systems Research Institute. [Google Scholar]
  17. Wimberly MC, Hildreth MB, Boyte SP, Lindquist E, Kightlinger L, , 2008. Ecological niche of the 2003 West Nile virus epidemic in the northern Great Plains of the United States. PLoS One 3: e3744.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  18. Gates MC, Boston RC, , 2009. Irrigation linked to a greater incidence of human and veterinary West Nile virus cases in the United States from 2004 to 2006. Prev Vet Med 89: 134137.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  19. Lindsey NP, Kuhn S, Campbell GL, Hayes EB, , 2008. West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease incidence in the United States, 2002–2006. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 8: 3539.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  20. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004. West Nile Virus (WNV): Clinical Description. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/clinicians/pdf/wnv-clinicaldescription.pdf. Accessed July 15, 2010. [Google Scholar]
  21. United States Geological Survey. West Nile Virus Disease Maps, 2002–2008. Available at: http://diseasemaps.usgs.gov/wnv_historical.html. Accessed July 15, 2010. [Google Scholar]
  22. Mostashari F, Bunning ML, Kitsutani PT, Singer DA, Nash D, Cooper MJ, Katz N, Liljebjelke KA, Biggerstaff BJ, Fine AD, Layton MC, Mullin SM, Johnson AJ, Martin DA, Hayes EB, Campbell GL, , 2001. Epidemic West Nile encephalitis, New York, 1999: results of a household-based seroepidemiological survey. Lancet 358: 261264.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  23. Petersen LR, Hughes JM, , 2002. West Nile virus encephalitis. N Engl J Med 347: 12251226.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  24. Darsie RF, Ward RA, , 2005. Identification and Geographical Distribution of the Mosquitoes of North America, North of Mexico. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 299300, 303. [Google Scholar]
  25. Kammen EE, Wand MP, , 2003. Geoadditive models. Appl Stat 52: 118. [Google Scholar]
  26. Beale CM, Lennon JJ, Yearsly JM, Brewer MJ, Elston DA, , 2010. Regression analysis of spatial data. Ecol Lett 13: 246264.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  27. Brownstein JS, Rosen H, Purdy D, Miller JR, Merlino M, Mostashari F, Fish D, , 2002. Spatial analysis of West Nile virus: rapid risk assessment of an introduced vector-borne zoonosis. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2: 157164.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  28. Carpenter SJ, La Casse WJ, , 1955. Mosquitoes of North America (North of Mexico). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. [Google Scholar]
  29. Dyar HG, , 1928. The Mosquitoes of the Americas. Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 382384. [Google Scholar]
  30. Horsfall WR, , 1955. Mosquitoes: Their Bionomics and Relation to Disease. New York: Ronald Press Co., 564592. [Google Scholar]
  31. Ozdenerol E, Bialkowska-Jelinska E, Taff GN, , 2008. Locating suitable habitats for West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes through association of environmental characteristics with infected mosquito locations: a case study in Shelby County, Tennessee. Int J Health Geogr 6: 12.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  32. Sugumaran R, Larson SR, Degroote JP, , 2009. Spatio-temporal cluster analysis of county-based human West Nile virus incidence in the continental United States. Int J Health Geogr 8: 43.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  33. Rochlin I, Harding K, Ginsberg HS, Campbell SR, , 2008. Comparative analysis of distribution and abundance of West Nile and eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus vectors in Suffolk County, New York, using human population density and land use/cover data. J Med Entomol 45: 563571.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  34. Irwin P, Arcari C, Hausbeck J, Paskewitz S, , 2008. Urban wet environment as mosquito habitat in the upper midwest. Ecohealth 5: 4957.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  35. Calhoun LM, Avery M, Jones L, Gunarto K, King R, Roberts J, Burkot TR, , 2007. Combined sewage overflows (CSO) are major urban breeding sites for Culex quinquefasciatus in Atlanta, Georgia. Am J Trop Med 77: 478484. [Google Scholar]
  36. Pecoraro HL, Day HL, Reineke R, Stevens N, Withey JC, Marzluff JM, Meschke JS, , 2007. Climatic and landscape correlates for potential West Nile virus mosquito vectors in the Seattle region. J Vector Ecol 32: 2228.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  37. Kilpatrick AM, Kramer LD, Campbell SR, Alleyne EO, Dobson AP, Daszak P, , 2005. West Nile virus risk assessment and the bridge vector paradigm. Emerg Infect Dis 11: 425429.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  38. Tesh RB, Parsons R, Siirin M, Randle Y, Sargent C, Guzman H, Wuithiranyagool T, Higgs S, Vanlandingham DL, Bala AA, Haas K, Zerinque B, , 2004. Year-round West Nile virus activity, Gulf Coast region, Texas and Louisiana. Emerg Infect Dis 10: 16491652.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

Supplemental materials

  • Received : 01 Mar 2010
  • Accepted : 01 Nov 2010
  • Published online : 04 Feb 2011

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