Five CA Chicken Flocks
Confirmed West Nile Positive

From Patricia Doyle, PhD

Hello, Jeff - We did find that there were WNV+ mosquito pools in Inperial County not far from the Salton Sea and now have found 21 sentinel chickens from 5 flocks have been found WNV+. Officially WNV has gone border to border and coast to coast and into North America and South America.
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Source: California Arbovirus Surveillance Bulletin, Week 35, Thu 28 Aug 2003 [edited] /Arbovirus_Bulletin
California: 5 Sentinel Chicken Flocks Confirmed West Nile Virus-positive
21 chickens from 5 sentinel flocks in Imperial County have been confirmed positive for West Nile virus (WNV) by the Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory (VRDL) and the Davis Arbovirus Research Unit (DARU). The flocks are located near Seeley, El Centro, Niland, and Holtville. Dried blood spots collected on 4 Aug 2003 from chickens in each of these flocks screened positive for flavivirus (SLE/WNV). These results were confirmed with blood collected last week.
Dried blood spot specimens from sentinel chickens submitted each week to the DHS Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory (VRDL) are tested for the presence of antibodies to western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE), West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) viruses by EIA and IFA. The VRDL forwards serum specimens from sentinel chicken in which antibodies are detected in new geographic areas to the Davis Arbovirus Research Unit (DARU) for additional testing for WNV, SLE, and WEE antibodies.
All mosquito pools are currently tested by in situ EIA for WEE, SLE, and WNV. And all species except _Culex tarsalis_ are also tested for California encephalitis virus. All pools are being tested by Taqman for WNV (primers for WEE and SLE will soon be available to include these viruses in the Taqman assay). Additional viral testing [may include reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)] of mosquito pools for California encephalitis and other arboviruses is performed as appropriate. All dead bird kidney tissues are tested by DARU using the Taqman assay. Organ pools from the carcasses are tested using cell culture for virus isolation.
Eleanor Kellon, V.M.D.
[Dr. Kellon has commented that one of these sites is located in very close proximity to the Salton Sea (where a West Nile virus-positive mosquito pool was reported previously); the others are located to the south of this site. - Mod.CP]
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at: Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health




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