Agricultural practices and bird migration patterns linked to West Nile virus spread in Europe

A recent study published in PLOS Pathogens highlights the major factors contributing to outbreaks of West Nile virus (WNV) in Europe. The study suggests that agricultural land use and bird movements are the primary drivers of WNV transmission. Researchers used phylogeographic pattern analysis to map the evolution and transmission history of WNV in Europe. They found that WNV-2a, which was introduced to Europe through migratory birds, has significantly impacted the transmission dynamics of the virus. The study emphasizes the need for increased virological surveillance in Central Europe and regions with high farming density to mitigate future WNV outbreaks.

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