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Volume 17, Number 8–August 2011
West Nile Virus Infection in Killer Whale, Texas, USA, 2007
Judy St. Leger, Comments to Author Guang Wu, Mark Anderson, Les Dalton, Erika Nilson, and David Wang
Author affiliations: SeaWorld, San Diego, California, USA (J. St. Leger, E. Nilson); Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA (G. Wu, D. Wang); University of California at Davis, Davis, California, USA (M. Anderson); and SeaWorld, San Antonio, Texas, USA (L. Dalton)
Suggested citation for this article
In 2007, nonsuppurative encephalitis was identified in a killer whale at a Texas, USA, marine park. Panviral DNA microarray of brain tissue suggested West Nile virus (WNV); WNV was confirmed by reverse transcription PCR and sequencing. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated WNV antigen within neurons. WNV should be considered in cases of encephalitis in cetaceans.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a single-stranded RNA virus of the genus Flavivirus that is transmitted by mosquitoes. In humans and animals, WNV has been associated with a spectrum of clinical conditions from asymptomatic infections to sudden death. These have been identified in a variety of animal species. Among marine mammals, WNV infection has been reported in a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) (1). We describe WNV infection in a killer whale (Orcinus orca) and seroprevalence in conspecific cohort and noncohort groups.
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Suggested Citation for this Article
St. Leger J, Wu G, Anderson M, Dalton L, Nilson E, Wang D. West Nile virus infection in killer whale, Texas, USA, 2007. Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Aug [date cited]. http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/17/8/101979.htm
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