The objective of this study was to determine evidence of previous West Nile virus (WNV) infection in northern California owls. Owl serum samples were collected from birds presenting to a veterinary medical teaching hospital between 2007 and 2014 and were screened for the presence of WNV antibodies by an indirect enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Only one of 71 samples (1.41%) tested was positive by EIA and confirmed by a plaque reduction neutralization test; it was the most recent sample collected. The reason for the low prevalence of WNV in these California owls despite a high prevalence in sympatric avian species in the same region is unknown and should be a topic for further research.
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