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West Nile Virus

Requirements for sensitivity of assays used depend on setting, e. SoHO screening of population samples versus identification of clinical cases. Virus isolation is not considered as a test of choice for diagnosis, as it requires biosafety level 3 facilities and it takes up to five days to obtain a cytopathogenic effect. WNV antigen detection by immunohistochemistry is possible in post-mortem tissue of fatal encephalitis cases. No specific prophylaxis or treatment exist for WNV infections. The only available treatment is supportive care [9].


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Donors of organs, tissues and cells living in or returning from an affected area should be tested for WNV infection. Systematic collection of epidemiological information on WNV infection among donors and recipients of SoHO is an important tool for national authorities to better assess the risk of transmission and impact of preventive measures on the availability of SoHO.

According to the preparedness plan for WNV blood safety in the EU [39], blood establishments in affected areas should:. Mosquito vectors may be controlled through larval source reduction and measures against adult mosquitoes. Vector breeding sites include stagnant and often dirty water collections in dishes, buckets, barrels and cans, flowerpots, rain gutters, discarded tires and other containers that can collect water.

In urban environments, infrastructure such as underground heating, sewage pipes and basements liable to flooding can act as breeding and resting sites for vectors. Specific methods for vector control to prevent transmission of WNV have been infrequently evaluated for their impact on reducing human cases [40]. Personal protection from mosquito bites is advisable for any person residing in or visiting affected areas, especially the elderly and immunocompromised people who are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms.

Personal protective measures to reduce the risk of mosquito bites include the use of mosquito repellent in accordance with instructions indicated on the product label and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers. In addition, window and screen doors can keep mosquitoes out.


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  6. Factsheet Infographics. Factsheet about West Nile virus infection Factsheet. Twitter Facebook Linked In Mail. Epidemiological criteria At least one of the following epidemiological links: Animal to human transmission residing, having visited or having been exposed to mosquito bites in an area where WNV is endemic in horses or birds Human to human transmission vertical transmission, blood transfusion, transplants Case classification A. Possible case Not applicable B.

    Probable case Any person meeting the clinical criteria and with at least: an epidemiological link; and a laboratory test for a probable case. Confirmed case Any person meeting laboratory criteria for case confirmation Note: Serological results should be interpreted according to previous exposure to other flavivirus infections and vaccination status. The pathogen WNV is an enveloped positive-stranded ribonucleic acid RNA virus belonging to the Japanese encephalitis serocomplex Flavivirus genus, Flaviviridae family [6].

    Animals WNV infections among equids are usually asymptomatic. Transmission WNV is transmitted in an enzootic cycle between mosquitoes and birds that respective acting as vectors and amplifying hosts. Figure 1.

    West Nile virus

    West Nile virus transmission cycle. SoHo: substance of human origin. Diagnostics Laboratory methods for the diagnosis of a WNV infection are most commonly indirect detection based on serology, but can also entail direct detection of the virus. Direct detection West Nile virus infection can be confirmed by virus genome detection or virus isolation.

    Case management and treatment No specific prophylaxis or treatment exist for WNV infections. According to the preparedness plan for WNV blood safety in the EU [39], blood establishments in affected areas should: temporarily interrupt blood collection or implement NAT screening for blood donations from WNV affected areas quarantine, retest and discard positive blood components in storage at the time of implementation of measures and retrieve and quarantine blood components derived from whole blood donated days prior the date of collection of the ID-NAT-positive donation enhance donor post-donation information, especially about fever, influenza-like illness or other acute symptoms within 15 days after donation strengthen post-transfusion haemovigilance and perform look-back analysis in any case of transfusion-transmitted WNV infection for a period dating days prior to the donation of implicated blood components; and consider the use of pathogen inactivation procedures.

    Vector control Mosquito vectors may be controlled through larval source reduction and measures against adult mosquitoes. Infection control, personal protection and prevention Personal protection from mosquito bites is advisable for any person residing in or visiting affected areas, especially the elderly and immunocompromised people who are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms.

    West Nile virus infection

    Read more on the ECDC website. Weekly updates: West Nile virus transmission season. Historical data by year - West Nile fever seasonal surveillance. Data West Nile virus risk assessment tool Tool - 1 Jul Publication The European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in Surveillance report - 12 Dec Read more on external websites. Peer-Reviewed Publication Diagnosis of west nile virus human infections: Overview and proposal of diagnostic protocols considering the results of external quality assessment studies Jan Guide to the preparation, use and quality assurance of blood components — 19th Edition.

    References United Nations Statistics Division. New York: U N; [cited 20 September ]. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. West Nile fever. In: ECDC. Annual epidemiological report for European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

    Statewide Mosquito-borne Disease Activity Report

    Weekly updates: West Nile fever transmission season. West Nile virus in Europe: emergence, epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Clin Microbiol Infect. European Commission. Text with EEA relevance. Luxembourg: European Commission; Zeller H, Schuffenecker I. West Nile virus: an overview of its spread in Europe and the Mediterranean basin in contrast to its spread in the Americas. Biological and phylogenetic characteristics of West African lineages of West Nile virus. Paz S. Climate change impacts on West Nile virus transmission in a global context.

    West Nile virus: review of the literature. Neurocognitive and functional outcomes in persons recovering from West Nile virus illness. J Neuropsychol. Neurologic manifestations and outcome of West Nile virus infection.

    West Nile Virus: The First Decade - Richard L. Oehler, MD

    Montgomery RR. Age-related alterations in immune responses to West Nile virus infection. Clin Exp Immunol.

    Outbreak of West Nile virus infection in Greece, Emerg Infect Dis. West Nile virus outbreak in humans, Greece, third consecutive year of local transmission. Euro Surveill. Geographic variations of the bird-borne structural risk of West Nile virus circulation in Europe.

    Deadly Diseases That Are Spread by Mosquitoes - Mosq Guide

    PLoS One. West Nile virus in overwintering mosquitoes, central Europe. Parasit Vectors. Blood-feeding patterns of native mosquitoes and insights into their potential role as pathogen vectors in the Thames estuary region of the United Kingdom. Divergent host preferences of above- and below-ground Culex pipiens mosquitoes and their hybrid offspring.