Surveillance of maternal antibodies against West Nile virus in chicken eggs in South-West Germany

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Abstract

Objective

The emergence of West Nile virus (WNV) in several European countries increases the risk of its introduction to Germany. This study evaluated a new method for WNV surveillance by testing for maternal antibodies in chicken eggs.

Methods

A total of 1,990 eggs were collected in 35 sampling sites in the south-west of Germany and tested for WNV-specific antibodies.

Results

The results did not indicate evidence for WNV circulation in the study area.

Conclusion

This work serves as a proof-of-concept that such a method is useful and a potential alternative to use of sentinel chicken for regular WNV surveillance.

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