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Volume 9, Number 9—September 2003

DNA Vaccine for West Nile Virus Infection in Fish Crows (Corvus ossifragus)

Michael J. Turell*Comments to Author , Michel L. Bunning†‡1, George V. Ludwig*, Brian Ortman†, Jeff Chang‡, Tully Speaker§, Andrew Spielman¶, Robert McLean#, Nicholas Komar‡, Robert Gates‡, Tracey McNamara**, Terry Creekmore††, Linda Farley‡‡, and Carl J. Mitchell‡
Author affiliations: *U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA; †U.S. Air Force, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA; ‡Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; §Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; ¶Harvard School of Public Health and the Center for International Development at Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; #U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; **Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York, USA; ††Wyoming Department of Health, Laramie, Wyoming, USA; ‡‡American Bird Conservancy, Washington, D.C., USA; 1Drs. Turell and Bunning are co-lead authors of this article.

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Table 1

Effect of route of administration of a DNA West Nile virus vaccine on the protection of fish crows from challenge with virulent West Nile virus

Treatmenta,b No. tested % seropositivec % viremic Peak viremiad % survival
Room control
<1.7 (0.0)
2.9b (0.4)
5.2c (0.8)
Placebo 10 0 100 4.3c (0.3) 50

          aIM, intramuscularly. Crows were inoculated IM with 0.5 mg of the DNA vaccine. Oral, crows were given 0.5 mg of the DNA vaccine orally. Placebo, crows were inoculated IM with 0.5 mg of nonspecific DNA and given 0.5 mg of nonspecific DNA orally.
          bRoom controls were placebo inoculated and then challenged with diluent.
          cPercentage of crows whose serum produced >80% neutralization at 1:20 dilution.
          dLogarithm10 mean peak viremia in crows bled every third day after challenge (S.E.). No virus was detected in any of the room control birds and a value of 1.7 was assigned to birds from which no virus was detected for calculation of mean and S.E. Means followed by the same letter are not significantly different at α = 0.05 by student t test.

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