Epidemiology and Infection

West Nile virus

The virology, epidemiology, and clinical impact of West Nile virus: a decade of advancements in research since its introduction into the Western Hemisphere

K. O. MURRAYa1 c1, C. WALKERa1 and E. GOULDa2a3

a1 The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Center for Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Houston, TX, USA

a2 Unité des Virus Emergent, Faculté de Médecine Timone, Marseille, France

a3 CEH Wallingford, Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Oxfordshire, UK


West Nile virus (WNV) is now endemic in the USA. After the widespread surge of virus activity across the USA, research has flourished, and our knowledge base has significantly expanded over the past 10 years since WNV was first recognized in New York City. This article provides a review of the virology of WNV, history, epidemiology, clinical features, pathology of infection, the innate and adaptive immune response, host risk factors for developing severe disease, clinical sequelae following severe disease, chronic infection, and the future of prevention.

(Accepted January 26 2011)

(Online publication February 23 2011)