Department

Department of Zoology and Physiology, UW; Department of Math and Science, CWC

First Advisor

Dr. Scott Seville , The University of Wyoming/Casper Center

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven McAllister, Central Wyoming College

Description

West Nile v irus (WNV) is an RNA arbovirus in the family Flaviviridae . While birds are the primary reservoir for the virus, humans can be a terminal host. In Wyoming, the Culex t arsalis mosquito acts as the primary vector. Most human infections are asymptomatic. In less than 1% of infections, however, severe symptoms including paralysis, encephalitis, and death may occur. Fremont County, population 40,123, is a hot spot for WNV in Wyoming . It is hypothesized that an inverse relationship exists between the number of reported cases and the percentage of residents previously expos ed to WNV. For this serosurvey, approximately 10 milliliters of blood was drawn from 60 subjects resi ding in Fremont County. The blood was allowed to clot and then centrifuged to separate the serum. Serum samples were then tested for the presence of West Nile virus IgG antibodies using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA). The presence of high ti ters of IgG antibodies is indicative of past exposure to the virus. Preliminary ELISA results indicate that approximately 11% (95% CI: 5% to 22%) of the population of Fremont County has been exposed to WNV. These results indicate that a majority of the p opulation is still at risk for WNV infection.

Comments

Oral and Poster Presentations, INBRE

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Results of a Serosurvey of a Rural Population for West Nile Virus Antibodies

West Nile v irus (WNV) is an RNA arbovirus in the family Flaviviridae . While birds are the primary reservoir for the virus, humans can be a terminal host. In Wyoming, the Culex t arsalis mosquito acts as the primary vector. Most human infections are asymptomatic. In less than 1% of infections, however, severe symptoms including paralysis, encephalitis, and death may occur. Fremont County, population 40,123, is a hot spot for WNV in Wyoming . It is hypothesized that an inverse relationship exists between the number of reported cases and the percentage of residents previously expos ed to WNV. For this serosurvey, approximately 10 milliliters of blood was drawn from 60 subjects resi ding in Fremont County. The blood was allowed to clot and then centrifuged to separate the serum. Serum samples were then tested for the presence of West Nile virus IgG antibodies using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA). The presence of high ti ters of IgG antibodies is indicative of past exposure to the virus. Preliminary ELISA results indicate that approximately 11% (95% CI: 5% to 22%) of the population of Fremont County has been exposed to WNV. These results indicate that a majority of the p opulation is still at risk for WNV infection.