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Seroprevalence of West Nile virus in feral horses on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States 2004-2006, 2008 and 2009

Dates

Publication Date
Start Date
2004
End Date
2009

Citation

J. Christian Franson, Erik K. Hofmeister, Gail H. Collins, and Robert J. Dusek, 2015, Seroprevalence of West Nile virus in feral horses on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States 2004-2006, 2008 and 2009: U. S. Geological Survey data release: Reston, VA, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7S75DDD.

Summary

The authors screened 1,397 feral horses (Equus caballus) on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States, for IgM and IgG against flavivirus during 2004-2006, 2008, and 2009. Positive serum samples were tested for neutralizing antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). One animal was positive for antibody against WNV in 2004, but all others tested in 2004-2006 were negative. In 2008 and 2009, the authors found evidence of increasing seropositive horses with age, whereas seroprevalence of WNV decreased from 19% in 2008 to 7.2% in 2009. No horses were positive for antibody against SLEV. Being unvaccinated, feral horses can be useful for WNV surveillance.

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Seroprevalence_of_West_Nile_virus_in_feral_horses_Nevada_2004_2009.xml
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Franson.2011.Seroprevalence of West Nile virus in feral horses.csv 73.69 KB
Franson.2011.Seroprevalence of West Nile virus in feral horses.Dictionary.csv 1.23 KB

Purpose

Little is known about West Nile virus (WNV) in non-domestic (i.e., wild or feral) horses (Equus caballus) beyond serologic surveys that have reported WNV antibody prevalence from < 1% to 63% of animals tested. The authors screened 1,397 feral horses (Equus caballus) on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States, for IgM and IgG against flavivirus during 20042006, 2008, and 2009.Horses are considered dead end hosts of WNV, but wild and feral horses, being unvaccinated, can be useful in WNV surveillance.

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  • National Wildlife Health Center

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