Experts take stock of West Nile lessons

The northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens) is one of the mosquito species that can be infected by West Nile virus and spread the virus to other species. ©Ary Farajollahi, Bugwood.org

West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999, and it quickly spread from New York across the continent, into Canada and Mexico and then to Central and South America. The virus, which affected several bird species, as well as some amphibians, reptiles and mammals — including humans — served as a wake-up call regarding mosquito-spread diseases. Several experts recently synthesized research and information on the West Nile virus to help understand the biggest lessons they’ve learned about the disease. In the article published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, experts provide their perspectives on what they learned from West Nile virus over the last 20 years of research. “West Nile virus has demonstrated the need for a truly ‘one health’ response to pathogen emergence,” said Colorado State University’s Angela M. Bosco-Lauth. “It is so vitally important that science and research is open and collaborative in nature and that human health, veterinary health, and environmental health do not exist as silos but rather work together toward a common goal.”

Read the article in the Journal of Medical Entomology.