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.