Epidemiology and Infection

Short Report

Zoonoses and animal infections

Serological investigations on West Nile virus in birds and horses in Shanghai, China

D. L. LANa1a2 , C. S. WANGa1 , B. DENGa3, J. P. ZHOUa3, L. CUIa1, C. TANGa2, H. YUEa2 c2 and X. G. HUAa1 c1

a1 Shanghai Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

a2 College of Life Science and Technology, Southwest University for Nationality, Chengdu, China

a3 Shanghai Animal Disease Control Centre, Shanghai, China


West Nile virus (WNV) infection is an emerging zoonosis that threatens global public health. In this study, a total of 95 bird serum samples from 14 species and 341 horse serum samples were collected from 2008 to 2010 in Shanghai, China. All serum samples were screened initially for WNV-reactive antibodies using a competitive ELISA. The positive samples detected by ELISA were further confirmed using a plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT) for WNV and its most closely related flaviviruses in the area to avoid false positives due to cross-reactivity. Five (5·3%) of the bird serum samples and none (0·0%) of the horse serum samples tested positive for WNV antibodies. The findings strongly suggest that some of the birds, specifically the resident birds in China, had been exposed to WNV.

(Received October 17 2011)

(Revised May 03 2012)

(Accepted May 09 2012)

(Online publication June 01 2012)

Key words

  • Birds;
  • horses;
  • China;
  • West Nile virus;
  • serological investigation


c1 Author for correspondence: Dr X. G. Hua, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China. (Email: hxg@sjtu.edu.cn) [X. G. Hua]

c2 (Email: yhua900@yahoo.com.cn) [H. Yue]


  These authors contributed equally to this work.