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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 168-175

West Nile virus and its theories, a big puzzle in Mexico and Latin America


1 Center for Research and Assistance in Technology and Design of the State of Jalisco, A. C, Unit of Biotechnology Medical and Pharmaceutical, Guadalajara, Jalisco, CP 44270, Mexico
2 Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado CO 80522

Correspondence Address:
Darwin Elizondo-Quiroga
Center for Research and Assistance in Technology and Design of the State of Jalisco, A. C, Unit of Biotechnology Medical and Pharmaceutical, Guadalajara, Jalisco, CP 44270, Mexico

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-777X.122014

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It has been 13 years since the first outbreak of West Nile Virus (WNV) occurred in the Americas. Since then, thousands of human cases have been reported in the United States. In contrast, there has not yet been an outbreak of WNV in any Latin American countries, including Mexico where <20 cases have been reported. We aimed to review publications to gather the main theories related to the fact that not all the countries of the continent reported human cases or that they have reported few cases since the introduction of WNV in the Western Hemisphere. We identified relevant publications using the PubMed database. Furthermore, we present on-line published information from Mexico. We found that researchers have tried to explain this phenomenon using several theories, like pre-existing antibodies against a heterotypical virus that have conferred cross protection in the population. Another explanation is that the strains circulating in Latin America are attenuated or that they came from a different origin of introduction in the continent. Another theory is that a conclusive diagnostic in regions where more than one Flavivirus is circulating results in cross-reaction in serological tests. Probably the sum of factors described by researchers in these theories in order to explain the behavior of the virus has resulted in the low number of reported cases in Latin America.


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2008 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th December, 2008