Journal or Book Title
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) (five of eight) were infected with West Nile virus (WNV) when challenged by the oral route with 102.3 or 103.4 plaque forming units (PFU). The mean maximum serum WNV titer of infected fox squirrels was 105.1 PFU/mL and ranged from 104.6 to 105.6 PFU/mL. These levels of viremia are infectious for several mosquito vectors of WNV. This virus was also isolated from swabs of the oral and rectal cavities, and urine swabs between day 5 and 9 postexposure (p.e.) in amounts as high as 102.0, 102.8, and 102 PFU, respectively. WNV RNA was detected in salivary gland and/or kidney tissue of three squirrels between day 65 and 72 p.e. in the presence of WNV neutralizing antibody, suggesting that long-term persistent infection occurs in fox squirrels. These observations justify further studies to determine if nonarthropod transmission and long-term persistent infection occur naturally in fox squirrels and contribute to trans-seasonal maintenance of WNV.
This is a copy of an article published in the Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases © 2009 [copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.]; Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases is available online at: http://online.liebertpub.com
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Tiawsirisup, Sonthaya; Blitvich, Bradley J.; Tucker, Bradley J.; Halbur, Patrick G.; Bartholomay, Lyric; Rowley, Wayne A.; and Platt, Kenneth B., "Susceptibility of Fox Squirrels (Sciurus niger) to West Nile Virus by Oral Exposure" (2009). Entomology Publications. 155.