Bird species involved in west nile virus epidemiological cycle in southern Québec
Article [Version of Record]
Is part ofInternational journal of environmental research and public health ; vol. 17.
Despite many studies on West Nile Virus (WNV) in the US, including the reservoir role of bird species and the summer shifts of the Culex mosquito, feeding from birds to mammals, there have been few equivalent studies in the neighboring regions of Canada where WNV is endemic. Here, a priority list of bird species likely involved in WNV transmission in the greater Montréal area is constructed by combining three sources of data: (i) from WNV surveillance in wild birds (2002–2015); (ii) blood meal analysis of Culex pipiens–restuans (CPR), the primary enzootic vectors of WNV in the region, collected from surveillance in 2008 and 2014; (iii) literature review on the sero-prevalence/host competence of resident birds. Each of these data sources yielded 18, 23 and 53 species, and overall, 67 different bird species were identified as potential WNV amplifiers/reservoirs. Of those identified from CPR blood meals, Common starlings, American robins, Song sparrows and House sparrows ranked the highest and blood meal analysis demonstrated a seasonal shift in feed preference from birds to mammals by CPR. Our study indicates that there are broad similarities in the ecology of WNV between our region and the northeastern US, although the relative importance of bird species varies somewhat between regions.