West Nile virus and its emergence in the United States of America
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Center for Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Houston, Texas, USA
2 Institut Pasteur, Department of Virology, 25 rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 23 June 2010
Zoonotic West Nile virus (WNV) circulates in natural transmission cycles involving certain mosquitoes and birds, horses, humans, and a range of other vertebrates are incidental hosts. Clinical infections in humans can range in severity from uncomplicated WNV fever to fatal meningoencephalitis. Since its introduction to the Western Hemisphere in 1999, WNV had spread across North America, Central and South America and the Caribbean, although the vast majority of severe human cases have occurred in the United States of America (USA) and Canada. By 2002–2003, the WNV outbreaks have involved thousands of patients causing severe neurologic disease (meningoencephalitis and poliomyelitis-like syndrome) and hundreds of associated fatalities in USA. The purpose of this review is to present recent information on the epidemiology and pathogenicity of WNV since its emergence in North America.
Key words: West Nile virus / zoonosis / arbovirus / epidemiology / pathogenicity
© INRA, EDP Sciences, 2010
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any noncommercial medium, provided the original work is properly cited.