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Seroprevalence of West Nile Virus in Wild Birds in Far Eastern Russia Using a Focus Reduction Neutralization Test

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  • Laboratory of Public Health, Department of Environmental Veterinary Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan; Division of International Cooperation, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan; Khabarovsk Anti-Plague Station of Federal Service for Surveillance in Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-being, Khabarovsk, Russia; Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Vladivostok, Russia

West Nile (WN) virus has been spreading geographically to non-endemic areas in various parts of the world. However, little is known about the extent of WN virus infection in Russia. Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus, which is closely related to WN virus, is prevalent throughout East Asia. We evaluated the effectiveness of a focus reduction neutralization test in young chicks inoculated with JE and WN viruses, and conducted a survey of WN infection among wild birds in Far Eastern Russia. Following single virus infection, only neutralizing antibodies specific to the homologous virus were detected in chicks. The neutralization test was then applied to serum samples from 145 wild birds for WN and JE virus. Twenty-one samples were positive for neutralizing antibodies to WN. These results suggest that WN virus is prevalent among wild birds in the Far Eastern region of Russia.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Ikuo Takashima, Laboratory of Public Health, Department of Environmental Veterinary Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, kita-18 nishi-9, kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-1818, Japan. E-mail: takasima@vetmed.hokudai.ac.jp

Financial support: This study was supported by the Global COE Program “Establishment of International Collaboration Centers for Zoonosis Control, Hokkaido University” from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture of Japan.

Authors' addresses: Ryo Murata, Kazuaki Hashiguchi, Kentaro Yoshii, Hiroaki Kariwa, and Ikuo Takashima, Laboratory of Public Health, Department of Environmental Veterinary Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, E-mails: murata-r@vetmed.hokudai.ac.jp, hashy@ac.bb-east.ne.jp, kyoshii@vetmed.hokudai.ac.jp, kariwa@vetmed.hokudai.ac.jp, and takasima@vetmed.hokudai.ac.jp. Kensuke Nakajima, Division of International Cooperation, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan, E-mail: nakajima-kensuke@mhlw.go.jp. Leonid I. Ivanov, Khavarovsk Antiplague Station of Federal Service for Surveillance in Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-being, Khabarovsk, Russia, E-mail: chum@chum.khv.ru. Galina N. Leonova, Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Academy of Medical Sciences, Siberian Branch, Vladivostok, Russia, E-mail: galinaleon@mail.primorye.ru.

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