Consequently, the species is more likely to become extinct if environmental conditions change, even minimally. One such virus that can induce genetic changes is the West Nile virus (WNv), and it has the capacity to change the genetic sequencing of animal species, predominantly birds. WNv can be passed to humans and other mammals via mosquitoes and causes mild to severe illness, and in some cases death.
The investigators presented data that supported a phylogenetic conclusion that the MNv epidemic of North America already reached an epidemiological plateau. The conclusion that peak prevalence has been passed was based on the decline in the population growth of WNv in recent months.
Snapinn et al.'s method of trying to quantify the emergence of MNv in the USA contrasts with that of previous research, such as Hull et al. (2006) and Naugle et al. (2004) who observed antibody rates of birds to identify the prevalence of WNv infection. The results for Hull's study showed that antibodies to WNv were found across all raptor groups across two geographical regions. This supports the conclusion that many of the wild raptors had survived a WNv infection. ...Show more