- Hello Jeff: As I've been saying since the beginning,
I believe that NY 99 isolate West Nile LIKE virus in the Americas is far
different from WNV seen around the world.
- ProMed Mail
- WNV Antibody Found In UK Resident/Migrant Birds
- Evidence of the potentially deadly West Nile virus has
been found in a high proportion of British birds, scientists have revealed.
The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and the researchers have warned
that the risk of the virus spreading to humans is increasing with the impact
of climate change.
- There have been no cases of West Nile virus infection
of humans in the United Kingdom but the virus caused the death of more
than 270 people in the US last year.
- Scientists at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology [formerly
the NERC Institute of Virology] in Oxford tested birds mainly in Cambridgeshire,
but also in Dorset and South Wales. They found evidence of the virus in
more than half the birds tested -- an "unexpectedly high" proportion,
BBC science correspondent Christine McGourty said. It was found in more
than 20 species in all, including crows, magpies, swallows, chickens, turkeys,
- While the birds were healthy and showed no symptoms,
scientists did detect antibodies to the virus. This indicated the birds
had come into contact with the virus and that their natural defences had
successfully fought it off. It is thought that the virus is being brought
into the country by migrating birds.
- The researchers said there was no immediate threat to
humans, but warned that climate change might increase the risk. The research,
published on Sat 19 Jul 2003, comes after increased surveillance measures
for the virus were introduced in the UK. The chief medical officer for
England, Sir Liam Donaldson, announced the measures in early July, saying
the risk to human health was low, but doctors and health officials had
been urged to be on the look-out for symptoms.
- ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- [The publication referred to in this report was published
on Fri 18 Jul 2003 in the online advance edition (JGV Direct) of the Journal
of General Virology for October 2003 (Buckley A, Dawson A, Moss SR, Hinsley
SA, Bellamy PE, Gould EA. Serological evidence of West Nile virus, Usutu
virus and Sindbis virus infection of birds in the UK. <http://www.sgm.ac.uk/JGVDirect/19341/19341a.htm>).
- The abstract of the paper reads as follows: "The
introduction and rapid dispersal of the African flavivirus West Nile virus
(WNV) throughout North America, and the high fatality rate due to encephalitis
in birds, horses, other wildlife species and humans, has attracted major
attention worldwide. Usutu virus, another flavivirus, came to prominence
in 2001, when it was identified as the agent responsible for a drop in
the bird population in Austria; previously this encephalitic virus was
found only in birds and mosquitoes in Africa. Sindbis virus, a pathogenic
alphavirus that causes arthritis, is widespread throughout Africa, Europe,
Asia and Australia, infecting a range of arthropods and vertebrates and
is genetically related to encephalitic viruses in North America. Currently
there is no evidence that any of these viruses cause disease in the UK.
Here the presence of virus-specific neutralizing antibodies is reported
in the sera of resident and migrant birds in the UK, implying that each
of these viruses is being introduced to UK birds, possibly by mosquitoes.
This is supported by nucleotide sequencing that identified three slightly
different sequences of WNV RNA in tissues of magpies and a blackbird. The
detection of specific neutralizing antibodies to WNV in birds provides
a plausible explanation for the lack of evidence of a decrease in the bird
population in the UK compared with North America. The potential health
risk posed to humans and animals by these viruses circulating in the UK
- The apparent absence of disease in arthropodborne virus
infected British wild birds in contrast to the behavior of introduced West
Nile virus in North America and Usutu virus in Austria is striking. To
what extent this phenomenon may be due to genetic differences in the virulence
of virus strains, to routes of transmission, or to vector specificity are
intriguing questions for future analysis. - Mod.CP] ....................cp/sh
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging
Diseases" message board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=emergingdiseases
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health