NANFA-- Fwd: PRO/AH/EDR> West Nile virus, reptiles, alligators - USA
Mon, 18 Nov 2002 19:21:30 EST


What portion of an alligator would a mosquito bite?

Chuck Church
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Wed 13 Nov 2002
From: ProMED-mail <
Source: Florida Times-Union Wed 13 Nov 2002 [edited]

Florida: West Nile virus identified in alligators for the first time
GAINESVILLE: University of Florida researchers have identified West Nile
virus in 3 Florida alligators, the first time the disease has been observed
in the North American species. State public health veterinarian Lisa Conti
confirmed on Tue 12 Nov 2002 that the three farm-raised alligators tested
positive for the illness last month.

Officials at Clabrook Farm Inc. in Orange County said hundreds of
alligators being raised there have died suddenly in the last 4 years, and
now they suspect West Nile was at least partially to blame. "We thought
maybe somebody was poisoning them," farm co-owner Kobi Kagen said. "But it
was not affecting all of the pens. It's strange. It's strange and very

Kagen said he's aware of many other farms which have experienced similar
sudden-death problems with its alligators. It remains unclear what effect,
if any, the findings will have on the state's alligator farming industry.
Local, state, and federal epidemiologists are continuing their
investigation, Conti said.

This is the first report of West Nile virus infection in a reptile in the
USA. The nature of the diagnostic tests are not stated. Presence of
antibody might indicate no more than exposure to the mosquito vector.
Isolation of virus from sick animals would be necessary to substantiate any
association between West Nile virus infection and disease. - Mod.CP]

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