Archives of Virology

, Volume 155, Issue 6, pp 965–969 | Cite as

Sentinel birds in wild-bird resting sites as potential indicators for West Nile virus infections in Germany

  • Ute Ziegler
  • Diana Seidowski
  • Anja Globig
  • Sasan R. Fereidouni
  • Rainer G. Ulrich
  • Martin H. Groschup
Brief Report


West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus with wild birds as its natural hosts. Ravens, falcons and jays are highly susceptible for WNV and develop deadly encephalitis, while other bird species undergo only subclinical infections. Migratory birds are efficient vectors for geographic spreading of WNV. Until now, WNV infections have not been diagnosed in Germany, but infections in humans and horses have occurred recently in Austria, Hungary and Italy. To investigate potential WNV introduction by infected wild birds, we have monitored the serological status of ducks in three national sentinel stations. No WNV-positive reactions were found, whereas sera from coots from northern Iran were positive.


West Nile virus (WNV) Wild bird Surveillance Sentinel Serological tests RT-PCR 



We thank Ines Nedow for excellent technical support. We also thank the nature conservation and veterinary authorities in Baden–Wuerttemberg, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for authorisation of sentinel stations. This work is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in a BMBF-Network “Emerging arthropod-borne-viral infections in Germany: Pathogenesis, diagnostics and surveillance”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ute Ziegler
    • 1
  • Diana Seidowski
    • 1
  • Anja Globig
    • 2
  • Sasan R. Fereidouni
    • 1
  • Rainer G. Ulrich
    • 1
  • Martin H. Groschup
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Novel and Emerging Infectious DiseasesFriedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal HealthGreifswald-Insel RiemsGermany
  2. 2.International Animal Health GroupFriedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal HealthGreifswald-Insel RiemsGermany

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