Susceptibility of carrion crows to experimental infection with lineage 1 and 2 West Nile viruses

Stephanie M. Lim, Aaron Brault, Geert van Amerongen, Angela M. Bosco-Lauth, Hannah Romo, Varsha D. Sewbalaksing, Richard A. Bowen, Albert D.M.E. Osterhaus, Penelope Koraka, Byron E.E. Martina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


West Nile virus (WNV) outbreaks in North America have been characterized by substantial die-offs of American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). In contrast, a low incidence of bird deaths has been observed during WNV epidemic activity in Europe. To examine the susceptibility of the western European counterpart of American crows, we inoculated carrion crows (Corvus corone) with WNV strains isolated in Greece (Gr-10), Italy (FIN and Ita09), and Hungary (578/10) and with the highly virulent North American genotype strain (NY99). We also inoculated American crows with a selection of these strains to examine the strains’ virulence in a highly susceptible bird species. Infection with all strains, except WNV FIN, resulted in high rates of death and high-level viremia in both bird species and virus dissemination to several organs. These results suggest that carrion crows are highly susceptible to WNV and may potentially be useful as part of dead bird surveillance for early warning of WNV activity in Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1357-1365
Number of pages9
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 23 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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