Role of communally nesting ardeid birds in the epidemiology of west nile virus revisited

William Reisen, Sarah Wheeler, M. Veronica Armijos, Ying Fang, Sandra Garcia, Kara Kelley, Stan Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Although herons and egrets in the family Ardeidae frequently have been associated with viruses in the Japanese encephalitis virus serocomplex, communal nesting colonies do not appear to be a focus of early season and rapid amplification of West Nile virus (WNV) in California. Evidence for repeated WNV infection was found by testing living and dead nestlings collected under trees with mixed species ardeid colonies nesting above in an oak grove near the University of California arboretum in Davis and in a Eucalyptus grove at a rural farmstead. However, mosquito infection rates at both nesting sites were low and positive pools did not occur earlier than at comparison sites within the City of Davis or at the Yolo Bypass wetlands managed for rice production and waterfowl habitat. Black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) were the most abundant and frequently infected ardeid species, indicating that WNV may be an important cause of mortality among nestlings of this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009


  • Black-crowned night heron
  • California
  • Cattle egret
  • Great egret
  • Snowy egret
  • West Nile virus-ardeidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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