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Serological evidence for the circulation of flaviviruses in seabird populations of the western Indian Ocean

  • A. JAEGER (a1) (a2) (a3), S. LECOLLINET (a4), C. BECK (a4), M. BASTIEN (a1) (a3), M. LE CORRE (a3), K. DELLAGI (a1) (a2) (a5), H. PASCALIS (a1) (a2) (a5), T. BOULINIER (a6) and C. LEBARBENCHON (a1) (a2)...

Summary

Birds play a central role in the epidemiology of several flaviviruses of concern for public and veterinary health. Seabirds represent the most abundant and widespread avifauna in the western Indian Ocean and may play an important role as host reservoirs and spreaders of arthropod-borne pathogens such as flaviviruses. We report the results of a serological investigation based on blood samples collected from nine seabird species from seven islands in the Indian Ocean. Using a commercial competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay directed against the prototypic West Nile flavivirus, antibodies against flaviviruses were detected in the serum of 47 of the 855 seabirds tested. They were detected in bird samples from three islands and from four bird species. Seroneutralization tests on adults and chicks suggested that great frigatebirds (Fregata minor) from Europa were infected by West Nile virus during their non-breeding period, and that Usutu virus probably circulated within bird colonies on Tromelin and on Juan de Nova. Real-time polymerase chain reactions performed on bird blood samples did not yield positive results precluding the genetic characterization of flavivirus using RNA sequencing. Our findings stress the need to further investigate flavivirus infections in arthropod vectors present in seabird colonies.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Dr A. Jaeger, UMR PIMIT, GIP CYROI, 2 rue Maxime Rivière, 97490 Saint Denis, La Réunion, France. (Email: audrey.jaeger@gmail.com)

References

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Keywords

Serological evidence for the circulation of flaviviruses in seabird populations of the western Indian Ocean

  • A. JAEGER (a1) (a2) (a3), S. LECOLLINET (a4), C. BECK (a4), M. BASTIEN (a1) (a3), M. LE CORRE (a3), K. DELLAGI (a1) (a2) (a5), H. PASCALIS (a1) (a2) (a5), T. BOULINIER (a6) and C. LEBARBENCHON (a1) (a2)...

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