Variation in virulence of West Nile virus strains for house sparrows (Passer Domesticus)

Stanley A. Langevin, Aaron Brault, Nicholas A. Panella, Richard A. Bowen, Nicholas Komar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The observation of avian mortality associated with West Nile virus (WNV) infection has become a hallmark epidemiologic feature in the recent emergence of this pathogen in Israel and North America. To determine if phenotypic differences exist among different WNV isolates, we exposed house sparrows (Passer domesticus) to low passage, lineage 1 WNV strains from North America (NY99), Kenya (KEN), and Australia (KUN; also known as Kunjin virus). House sparrows inoculated with the NY99 and KEN strains experienced similar mortality rates and viremia profiles. The KUN strain elicited significantly lower-titered viremia when compared with the other strains and induced no mortality. This study suggests that natural mortality in house sparrows due to Old World strains of WNV may be occurring where the KEN strain occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-102
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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