Serological evidence of West Nile and Usutu viruses circulation in domestic poultry and wild birds in wetlands of Mali and Madagascar

Chevalier Véronique, Marsot Maud, Molia Sophie, Rasamoelina Harentsoaniaina, Rakotondravao René, Pedrono Miguel, Lowenski Steeve, Durand Benoit, Lecollinet Sylvie, Beck Cécile. 2020. Serological evidence of West Nile and Usutu viruses circulation in domestic poultry and wild birds in wetlands of Mali and Madagascar. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (6):1998, 14 p.

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Abstract : The geographical distribution and impact on animal and human health of both West Nile and Usutu viruses, two flaviviruses of the Japanese encephalitis complex, have been increasing during the past two decades. Both viruses circulate in Europe and Africa within a natural cycle between wild birds and mosquitoes, mainly from the Culex genus. We retrospectively analyzed sera from domestic and wild birds sampled in 2008 in two wetlands, namely the Inner Niger Delta, Mali, and the Lake Alaotra area, Madagascar. Sera were first tested using a commercial ID Screen West Nile Competition Multi-species ELISA kit. Then, positive sera and sera with insufficient volume for testing with ELISA were tested with a Microneutralization Test. In Mali, the observed seroprevalence in domestic birds was 28.5% [24.5; 32.8] 95%CI, 3.1 % [1.8; 5.2] 95%CI, 6.2% [3.4; 10.2] 95%CI and 9.8 % [7.3; 12.8] 95%CI, for West Nile virus (WNV), Usutu virus (USUV), undetermined flavivirus, and WNV/USUV respectively. Regarding domestic birds of Madagascar, the observed seroprevalence was 4.4 % [2.1; 7.9]95%CI for WNV, 0.9% [0.1; 3.1] 95%CI for USUV, 1.3% [0.5; 2.8] 95%CI for undetermined flavivirus, and null for WNV/USUV. Among the 150 wild birds sampled in Madagascar, two fulvous whistling-ducks (Dendrocygna bicolor) were positive for WNV and two for an undetermined flavivirus. One white-faced whistling-duck (Dendrocygna viduata) and one Hottentot teal (Spatula hottentota) were tested positive for USUV. African and European wetlands are linked by wild bird migrations. This first detection of USUV—as well as the confirmed circulation of WNV in domestic birds of two wetlands of Mali and Madagascar—emphasizes the need to improve the surveillance, knowledge of epidemiological patterns, and phylogenetic characteristics of flavivirus in Africa, particularly in areas prone to sustained, intense flavivirus transmission such as wetlands.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : virus du Nil occidental, Flavivirus, Flaviviridae, Circulation, Immunodiagnostic, Sérologie, Animal domestique, Volaille, Animal sauvage, Oiseau

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Mali, Madagascar

Mots-clés complémentaires : Usutu virus

Mots-clés libres : West Nile virus, Usutu virus, Seroprevalence, Domestic poultry, Avifauna, Mali, Madagascar

Classification Agris : L73 - Animal diseases

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 4 (2019-) - Santé des plantes, des animaux et des écosystèmes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Chevalier Véronique, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR ASTRE (KHM) - auteur correspondant
  • Marsot Maud, Université Paris-Est (FRA)
  • Molia Sophie, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR ASTRE (FRA)
  • Rasamoelina Harentsoaniaina, FOFIFA (MDG)
  • Rakotondravao René, FOFIFA (MDG)
  • Pedrono Miguel, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR ASTRE (FRA)
  • Lowenski Steeve, ANSES (FRA)
  • Durand Benoit, ANSES (FRA)
  • Lecollinet Sylvie, ANSES (FRA)
  • Beck Cécile, ANSES (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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