West Nile virus infection in two alpacas.

TitleWest Nile virus infection in two alpacas.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsKutzler MA, Bildfell RJ, Gardner-Graff KK, Baker RJ, Delay JP, Mattson DE
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Pagination921-4, 880
Date Published2004 Sep 15
KeywordsAnimals, Antibodies, Viral, Camelids, New World, Diagnosis, Differential, Fatal Outcome, Female, Male, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Tick Infestations, Ticks, West Nile Fever, West Nile virus

A male alpaca acutely developed signs of anorexia and fever. Within 2 days, neurologic signs (head tremors and asymmetric ataxia) developed. West Nile virus (WNV) infection was considered a primary differential diagnosis on the basis of 6 previous cases on nearby alpaca farms on which animals had similar clinical signs. Four days after the male alpaca became ill, a female alpaca from the same farm developed similar neurologic signs. In addition to anti-inflammatory and supportive treatments, both alpacas received a transfusion of llama plasma with antibodies against WNV Seven days after the onset of clinical signs, the female alpaca had made a full recovery; however, the more severely affected male died. West Nile virus infection was confirmed post mortem by use of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay and immunohistochemical staining.

Alternate JournalJ. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.