Modeling movement of West Nile virus in the Western hemisphere.
ABSTRACT We modeled West Nile virus (WNV) movement rates and patterns based on a migratory bird agent (the Swainson's Thrush) and a resident bird agent (the House Sparrow), and compared the results of these models with actual movement data to investigate the likelihood that the pattern of WNV outbreaks observed in the New World was consistent with migrant bird-mediated spread, as reported from the Old World. We found that, contrary to Old World patterns, WNV activity in the Western Hemisphere does not seem consistent with movement by infected migrant birds. Instead WNV spread appears best explained by a non-directional movement, perhaps that of dispersing resident birds.
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ABSTRACT: West Nile virus (WNV) has been maintained in North America in enzootic cycles between mosquitoes and birds since it was first described in North America in 1999. House sparrows (HOSPs; Passer domesticus) are a highly competent host for WNV that have contributed to the rapid spread of WNV across the U.S.; however, their competence has been evaluated primarily using an early WNV strain (NY99) that is no longer circulating. Herein, we report that the competence of wild HOSPs for the NY99 strain has decreased significantly over time, suggesting that HOSPs may have developed resistance to this early WNV strain. Moreover, recently isolated WNV strains generate higher peak viremias and mortality in contemporary HOSPs compared to NY99. These data indicate that opposing selective pressures in both the virus and avian host have resulted in a net increase in the level of host competence of North American HOSPs for currently circulating WNV strains.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 10/2014; 8(10):e3262. · 4.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It has been 13 years since the first outbreak of West Nile Virus (WNV) occurred in the Americas. Since then, thousands of human cases have been reported in the United States. In contrast, there has not yet been an outbreak of WNV in any Latin American countries, including Mexico where <20 cases have been reported. We aimed to review publications to gather the main theories related to the fact that not all the countries of the continent reported human cases or that they have reported few cases since the introduction of WNV in the Western Hemisphere. We identified relevant publications using the PubMed database. Furthermore, we present on-line published information from Mexico. We found that researchers have tried to explain this phenomenon using several theories, like pre-existing antibodies against a heterotypical virus that have conferred cross protection in the population. Another explanation is that the strains circulating in Latin America are attenuated or that they came from a different origin of introduction in the continent. Another theory is that a conclusive diagnostic in regions where more than one Flavivirus is circulating results in cross-reaction in serological tests. Probably the sum of factors described by researchers in these theories in order to explain the behavior of the virus has resulted in the low number of reported cases in Latin America.Journal of global infectious diseases 01/2013; 5(4):168-175.
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ABSTRACT: The impact on human and horse health of West Nile fever (WNF) recently and dramatically increased in Europe and neighboring countries. Involving several mosquito and wild bird species, WNF epidemiology is complex. Despite the implementation of surveillance systems in several countries of concern, and due to a lack of knowledge, outbreak occurrence remains unpredictable. Statistical models may help identifying transmission risk factors. When spatialized, they provide tools to identify areas that are suitable for West Nile virus transmission. Mathematical models may be used to improve our understanding of epidemiological process involved, to evaluate the impact of environmental changes or test the efficiency of control measures. We propose a systematic literature review of publications aiming at modeling the processes involved in WNF transmission in the Mediterranean Basin. The relevance of the corresponding models as predictive tools for risk mapping, early warning and for the design of surveillance systems in a changing environment is analyzed.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 01/2013; 11(1):67-90. · 1.99 Impact Factor