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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Recent progress in West Nile virus diagnosis and vaccination

Marina De Filette1*, Sebastian Ulbert2, Michael S Diamond3 and Niek N Sanders1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Gene Therapy, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Ghent University, Heidestraat 19, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

2 Vaccine Technologies Unit, Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Perlickstrasse 1, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

3 Departments of Medicine, Molecular Microbiology and Pathology & Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Box 8051, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA

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Veterinary Research 2012, 43:16  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-43-16

Published: 1 March 2012

Abstract

West Nile virus (WNV) is a positive-stranded RNA virus belonging to the Flaviviridae family, a large family with 3 main genera (flavivirus, hepacivirus and pestivirus). Among these viruses, there are several globally relevant human pathogens including the mosquito-borne dengue virus (DENV), yellow fever virus (YFV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and West Nile virus (WNV), as well as tick-borne viruses such as tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Since the mid-1990s, outbreaks of WN fever and encephalitis have occurred throughout the world and WNV is now endemic in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and the Unites States. This review describes the molecular virology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and highlights recent progress regarding diagnosis and vaccination against WNV infections.