Overwintering of West Nile Virus in the United States

William K. Reisen, Sarah S. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The establishment of a tropical virus such as West Nile (WNV; Flaviviridae: Flavivirus) within the temperate latitudes of the continental United States was unexpected and perhaps contingent, in part, upon the ability of this invasive virus to persist during winter when temperatures become too cold for replication and vector mosquito gonotrophic activity. Our Forum article reviews research examining possible overwintering mechanisms that include consistent reintroduction and local persistence in vector mosquitoes and avian hosts, mostly using examples from research conducted in California. We conclude that the transmission of WNV involves so many vectors and hosts within different landscapes that multiple overwintering pathways are possible and collectively may be necessary to allow this virus to overwinter consistently within the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1498-1507
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 28 2019


  • avian
  • Culex
  • overwintering
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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