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Volume 16, Number 3—March 2010

Research

Surveillance for West Nile Virus in American White Pelicans, Montana, USA, 2006–2007

Gregory JohnsonComments to Author , Nicole Nemeth, Kristina Hale, Nicole Lindsey, Nicholas Panella, and Nicholas Komar
Author affiliations: Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA (G. Johnson, K. Hale); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA (N. Nemeth, N. Lindsey, N. Panella, N. Komar)

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Table 3

WNV detected by plaque assay or RT-PCR in tissues from American white pelican carcasses collected at Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Montana, USA, 2006–2007*

Specimen No. (%) plaque assay positive, n = 27 Median viral titer, log PFU/0.5 cm3 (range)† No. (%) RT-PCR positive, n = 8
Feather pulp 18 (66.7) 3.5 (1.3–5.9) 6 (75.0)
Kidney 18 (66.7) 2.6 (2.0–3.9) 3 (37.5)
Spleen 4 (14.8) 1.6 (0.7–2.0) 1 (12.5)
Brain 21 (77.8) 2.7 (1.7–5.9) 5 (62.5)
Heart 14 (51.9) 3.6 (0.7–5.3) 2 (25.0)
Lung 6 (22.2) 2.4 (1.7–3.3) 1 (12.5)
Skin 25 (92.6) 3.1 (0.7–5.0) 5 (62.5)
Oral swab 9 (33.3) 2.1 (0.7–3.7) 3 (37.5)
Cloacal swab 7 (25.9) 1.8 (0.7–3.7) 2 (25.0)
Eye swab‡ 2 (11.8) 2.2 (1.7–2.6)

*WNV, West Nile virus; RT-PCR, reverse transcription–PCR. All carcasses were WNV positive by virus isolation or detection of specific WNV RNA by RT-PCR.
†Median titers were calculated from the positive specimens only. Unit of measurement for swabs is per swab rather than per 0.5 cm3.
‡Eye swabs were collected from only 17 WNV-positive chicks.

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