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Volume 10, Number 12—December 2004

Research

Alligators as West Nile Virus Amplifiers

Kaci Klenk*1Comments to Author , Jamie Snow*, Katrina Morgan*, Richard A. Bowen†, Michael Stephens*, Falicia Foster*, Paul Gordy†, Susan Beckett*, Nicholas Komar*, Duane Gubler*, and Michel L. Bunning*‡

Author affiliations: *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; †Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; ‡United States Air Force, Washington, DC, USA

Main Article

Figure

Daily viremia titers. A) Injected alligators held at 32°C (◊, *, ○, Δ, □, +) and their tankmates (x, ), B) Injected alligators held at 27°C (◊, ○, *, Δ, □, +). Tankmates did not become viremic. C) Orally infected alligators held at 32°F (◊, □) and their tankmates (○, , *, +, x, Δ). D) Orally infected alligators held at 27°C (◊, ○, *, Δ, □, +) and their tankmates (x, ). Blood samples were collected from each alligator for virus isolation once a day for 15 days postinfection. (Some tankmate all

Figure. Daily viremia titers. A) Injected alligators held at 32°C (◊, *, ○, Δ, □, +) and their tankmates (x, ), B) Injected alligators held at 27°C (◊, ○, *, Δ, □, +). Tankmates did not become viremic. C) Orally infected alligators held at 32°F (◊, □) and their tankmates (○, , *, +, x, Δ). D) Orally infected alligators held at 27°C (◊, ○, *, Δ, □, +) and their tankmates (x, ). Blood samples were collected from each alligator for virus isolation once a day for 15 days postinfection. (Some tankmate alligators were bled daily through day 21 postinfection.) After day 15, alligators were bled biweekly through day 31 postinfection. West Nile viremia was quantified by using a Vero cell plaque assay. Plaques were counted after 4 days of incubation. The threshold of detection was 1.7 log10 PFU/mL of serum. Values <101.7 were considered to be zero.

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1 USDA National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, Colorado.

2 Of alligators infected by tankmate transmission, the death rate is 20% (2/10). Of alligators held at 32°C, the death rate is 13% (2/16).

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