J Zoo Wildl Med.: Clinical evaluation and outcomes of naturally acquired West Nile virus infection in raptors.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: West Nile fever (Risk factors)
West Nile fever (Diagnosis)
West Nile fever (Research)
Birds of prey (Health aspects)
Birds of prey (Research)
Authors: Nemeth, N.M.
Kratz, G.E.
Bates, R.
Pub Date: 06/01/2009
Publication: Name: Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery Publisher: Association of Avian Veterinarians Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Association of Avian Veterinarians ISSN: 1082-6742
Issue: Date: June, 2009 Source Volume: 23 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 252006960
Full Text: West Nile virus (WNV) infection and associated disease and mortality have been documented in numerous North American raptor species. Information regarding clinical presentations and long-term outcomes of WNV-infected raptors is important in the clinic for the diagnosis, treatment, and assessment of prognosis, as well as for understanding potential population-level effects on raptor species. Raptors of 22 species admitted to a rehabilitation clinic were tested, from 2002 to 2005, for previous and acute WNV infection, while comparing clinical syndromes, trauma, and rehabilitation outcomes. Forty-two percent of admitted raptors (132/ 314) had been infected with WNV, and these presented with a WNV-attributed clinical disease rate of 67.4% (89/132). West Nile virus-infected raptors were less likely to be released (79/132 [59.8%]) than negative raptors (138/182 [75.8%]) and more likely to die or be euthanatized (47/132 [35.6%] for WNV infected versus 32/182 [17.6%] for WNV negative). However, WNV-infected raptors with neurologic disease were no less likely to be released (29/53 [54.7%]) than those without neurologic disease (50/79 [63.3%]). Clinical WNV-associated syndromes varied among species. Great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) were more likely to have neurologic signs, whereas American kestrels (Falco sparverius) and Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsonii) were less likely to have neurologic signs. These results suggest that free-ranging raptors are frequently infected with WNV and that clinical syndromes differ among species. WNV has potentially devastating effects on raptors; however, rehabilitation of WNV-infected raptors can lead to positive outcomes, even for those having had severe neurologic disease.

et al. 2009;40:51-63
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