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Paștiu AI, Pap PL, Vágási CI, Niculae M, Páll E, Brudașcă FG and Spînu M 2015. Wild birds in Romania are more exposed to West Nile virus than to Newcastle Disease virus. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (in press).
Abstract: Numerous bird species are carriers of potentially pathogenic bacteria, viruses and/or parasites of veterinary or zoonotic importance, thus significantly contributing to the geographic distribution of these pathogens. The aim of this study was to evaluate the seroprevalence of West Nile and Newcastle Disease viruses in wild and domestic birds from Romania. During 2011–2014, 159 plasma samples from wild birds assigned to 11 orders, 27 families and 61 species and from 21 domestic birds (Gallus gallus domesticus; Anas platyrhynchos) were collected. The sera were assayed by two commercial cELISA kits for antibodies against West Nile and Newcastle Disease viruses. We found high prevalence of West Nile virus antibodies in both domestic (19.05%) and wild (32.14%) birds captured after the human epidemic in 2010. Moreover, the presence of anti-Newcastle Disease virus antibodies among wild birds from Romania (5.41%) was serologically confirmed for the first time, as far as we are aware. Our findings provide evidence that wild birds are involved in local West Nile and Newcastle Disease enzootic and epizootic cycles. These may allow the virus maintenance and spread and also enhance the chance of new outbreaks.
Keywords: West Nile virus, Newcastle Disease virus, wild birds, Romania