Environmental Science at Carleton

    Summer 2003

West Nile Virus


 

Sites to explore for background information on West Nile:

Center for Disease Control: West Nile "home page"

basic questions and answers http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/overview.htm

central site with links to a variety of information http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm#contacting

***for basic virology information, go to virology/ecology under 'specific topics' on your left, and then click 'more' under virology

More virology information at: http://212.187.155.84/wnv/List_WPMod_Cont/westnile/Flaviviridae_WNVirus/Flaviviridae_WNVirus.htm

Recent Star Tribune Articles

http://www.startribune.com:80/stOnLine/cgi-bin/srchlist.cgi?words=west+nile+virus&searchIn=all&pubDate=all&orderBy=date&perPage=10

***note dates on articles to see how "the story" has changed over time

Scientific Article

Nature news: "U.S. fails to quantify threat of West Nile virus" (this recent article gives general information on the virus, in addition to a brief history)

to access the article, you get to experience accessing an article through Carleton's library!

go the the 'current students' page

click on 'library' under the 'libraries and academic resources' heading

click on 'MUSE'

type in 'Nature' as the TITLE, and choose 'Periodical Titles only' from the drop down menu that now reads 'Entire Collection'

press 'search'

when options appear, choose the first ('Nature'), and on the following menu, click 'Link to Item' under option 3 (Nature Internet Periodical)

now you are on 'Nature' online, with access to recent articles from this major scientific journal; click 'search' on your upper left

from here, you can either:

search for 'west nile virus' (search for 'ALL of the words' using the scroll down menu), and select this article from the list that appears by clicking 'PDF'

OR search for volume: 423; first page: 104 and access this article (with Acrobat reader) again by clicking the 'PDF' link

 


 

METHODS (a basic understanding of these, and the differences between them, will help when reading articles):

*How would you test for the presence of the RNA virus itself in a mosquito?

Reverse-transcriptase PCR (polymerase chain reaction--this is what we'll be doing)

Animation http://www.bio.davidson.edu/courses/Immunology/Flash/RT_PCR.html

(make sure to turn on sound for cool effects)

Real-time PCR (a more quantitative method used by the CDC, MN Department of Health, etc.)

Animation http://www.vetscite.org/cgi-bin/pw.exe/vst/tools/leute_2_0800.htm

*How would you test an animal (bird, horse, human) for antibodies to the virus?

The ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay)

Animation http://www.agresearch.co.nz/scied/search/tools/Elisa/index_elisa.htm (select 'ELISA animation')

http://www.agresearch.co.nz/scied/search/tools/Elisa/resources.htm (select 'ELISA tutorial and animation')

***Question to think about: Why can't these animals simply be tested using PCR, which simply detects whether the virus itself is present? Why use the ELISA?

 


 

What are the consequences of methods commonly used to control mosquitoes/reduce West Nile?

(West Nile increases the need for mosquito control, but many current control methods have drawbacks.  What should be done?  Is mosquito control worth it?  What do you think?)

DEET http://www.startribune.com/stories/389/3947557.html

an example with chickadees (showing how complicated this all is!) http://www.startribune.com/stories/417/3786230.html

Scientific Article in Nature "Insecticide resistance in mosquito vectors" (this article is more complex than the others, so don't worry if you have trouble the first time through; try to remember/make a note of questions you may have)

access using instructions in first section ("Sites to explore...")

volume: 423; first page: 136

 


 

How is West Nile transmitted?

general

questions and answers http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/transmission.htm

transmission cycle http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/birds&mammals.htm

entomology http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/insects.htm

Article in Nature news "US zoos keep watch for cross-species killer"

access using instructions in first section ("Sites to explore...")

volume: 417; first page: 477

 

mosquito type

species that can carry WN http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/mosquitoSpecies.htm

from the annals of internal medicine: "Although Culex pipiens, Culex restuans, and Culex quinquefasciatus are probably the most important maintenance vectors in the eastern United States, it is unknown which species are most responsible for transmission to humans."

article from Star Tribune ("Rains produce new generation...") http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/3971003.html

blood banks

CDC answers to questions about transfusions, transplants, etc. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/transfusion.htm

Scientific Articles

Nature news: "Blood banks call for calm over virus scare" (see instructions for Nature above; volume: 419; first page: 102)

Science news: "Blood Banks in a 'Race Against the Mosquitoes"

accessing this article is very similar to accessing the 'Nature' articles

go the the 'current students' page

click on 'library' under the 'libraries and academic resources' heading

click on 'MUSE'

type in 'Science' as the TITLE, and choose 'Periodical Titles only' from the drop down menu that now reads 'Entire Collection'

press 'search'

when options appear, choose the first ('Science'), and on the following menu, click 'Link to Item' under option 3 (Science Internet Periodical)

now you are on 'Science Magazine' online, with access to recent articles from this major scientific journal; click 'search Science magazine' on your upper left

from here, you can either:

search for '"west nile virus"' in the space for 'Word(s) in Title or Abstract' (make sure to put quotations around "west nile virus", or you will get more search results than you want); now select the appropriate article by clicking on 'PDF'

OR search by volume and page number (volume: 299; first page: 1824) and access this article again by clicking 'PDF'

breast feeding

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/breastfeeding.htm

 


Need a study break? Swat mosquitoes at: http://www.mosquitozapper.com/bugkiller.htm


 

last updated 07/14/2003 by Julie Wahlstrand