Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 35, Number 4, July-August 2004
Equine infectious diseases
Page(s) 467 - 483
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2004) 467-483
Vet. Res. 35 (2004) 467-483
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2004022

West Nile virus infection of horses

Javier Castillo-Olivares and James Wood

Centre for Preventive Medicine, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU, United Kingdom

(Received 26 January 2004; accepted 1 March 2004)

Abstract - West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus closely related to Japanese encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis viruses that is primarily maintained in nature by transmission cycles between mosquitoes and birds. Occasionally, WNV infects and causes disease in other vertebrates, including humans and horses. West Nile virus has re-emerged as an important pathogen as several recent outbreaks of encephalomyelitis have been reported from different parts of Europe in addition to the large epidemic that has swept across North America. This review summarises the main features of WNV infection in the horse, with reference to complementary information from other species, highlighting the most recent scientific findings and identifying areas that require further research.

Key words: West Nile virus / flavivirus / horses / encephalitis

Corresponding author: Javier Castillo-Olivares

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004