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1 January 2006 SUSCEPTIBILITY OF GREATER SAGE-GROUSE TO EXPERIMENTAL INFECTION WITH WEST NILE VIRUS
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Abstract

Populations of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have declined 45– 80% in North America since 1950. Although much of this decline has been attributed to habitat loss, recent field studies have indicated that West Nile virus (WNV) has had a significant negative impact on local populations of grouse. We confirm the susceptibility of greater sage-grouse to WNV infection in laboratory experimental studies. Grouse were challenged by subcutaneous injection of WNV (103.2 plaque-forming units [PFUs]). All grouse died within 6 days of infection. The Kaplan-Meier estimate for 50% survival was 4.5 days. Mean peak viremia for nonvaccinated birds was 106.4 PFUs/ml (±100.2 PFUs/ml, standard error of the mean [SEM]). Virus was shed cloacally and orally. Four of the five vaccinated grouse died, but survival time was increased (50% survival=9.5 days), with 1 grouse surviving to the end-point of the experiment (14 days) with no signs of illness. Mean peak viremia for the vaccinated birds was 102.3 PFUs/ml (±100.6 PFUs/ml, SEM). Two birds cleared the virus from their blood before death or euthanasia. These data emphasize the high susceptibility of greater sage-grouse to infection with WNV.

Clark, Hall, McLean, Dunbar, Klenk, Bowen, and Smeraski: SUSCEPTIBILITY OF GREATER SAGE-GROUSE TO EXPERIMENTAL INFECTION WITH WEST NILE VIRUS
Larry Clark, Jeffrey Hall, Robert McLean, Michael Dunbar, Kaci Klenk, Richard Bowen and Cynthia A. Smeraski "SUSCEPTIBILITY OF GREATER SAGE-GROUSE TO EXPERIMENTAL INFECTION WITH WEST NILE VIRUS," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 42(1), (1 January 2006). https://doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-42.1.14
Received: 18 January 2005; Accepted: ; Published: 1 January 2006
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