West Nile Virus in Common Wild Avian Species in Israel

Gili Schvartz, Sharon Tirosh-Levy, Shahar Bider, Avishai Lublin, Yigal Farnoushi, Oran Erster, Amir Steinman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In order to evaluate the contribution of different wild bird species to West Nile virus (WNV) circulation in Israel, during the months preceding the 2018 outbreak that occurred in Israel, we randomly sampled 136 frozen carcasses of a variety of avian species. Visceral and central nervous system (CNS) tissue pools were tested using WNV NS2A RT qPCR assay; of those, 15 (11.03%, 95% CI: 6.31–17.54%) tissue pools were positive. A total of 13 out of 15 WNV RT qPCR positive samples were successfully sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that all WNV isolates were identified as lineage 1 and all categorized as cluster 2 eastern European. Our results indicated that WNV isolates that circulated within the surveyed wild birds in spring 2018 were closely related to several of the isolates of the previously reported 2018 outbreak in birds in Israel and that the majority of infected birds were of local species.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number107
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • 2018
  • Israel
  • QPCR
  • West Nile virus
  • Wild birds


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