High prevalence of West Nile virus in equines from the two provinces of Pakistan.

Research paper by A A Zohaib, M M Saqib, C C Beck, M H MH Hussain, S S Lowenski, S S Lecollinet, A A Sial, M N MN Asi, M K MK Mansoor, M M Saqalein, M S MS Sajid, K K Ashfaq, G G Muhammad, S S Cao

Indexed on: 02 Nov '14Published on: 02 Nov '14Published in: Epidemiology and infection


This study describes the first large-scale serosurvey on West Nile virus (WNV) conducted in the equine population in Pakistan. Sera were collected from 449 equids from two provinces of Pakistan during 2012-2013. Equine serum samples were screened using a commercial ELISA kit detecting antibodies against WNV and related flaviviruses. ELISA-positive samples were further investigated using virus-specific microneutralization tests (MNTs) to identify infections with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), WNV and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Anti-WNV antibodies were detected in 292 samples by ELISA (seroprevalence 65.0%) and WNV infections were confirmed in 249 animals by MNT. However, there was no animal found infected by JEV or TBEV. The detection of WNV-seropositive equines in Pakistan strongly suggests a widespread circulation of WNV in Pakistan.