U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 91(6), 2014, pp. 1247–1249 doi:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0280.


U.S. government work.


Mute swans (Cygnus olor) are an invasive species in the United States. The dramatic increase in their populations in localized areas has led to various problems, among them competition with native species and attacks on humans by aggressive swans. However, very little is known about the ability of these swans to transmit pathogens to humans, domestic birds, or wildlife or participate in enzootic maintenance. To learn more about select pathogens that mute swans may harbor, a survey was conducted from April of 2011 to August of 2012 in the Great Lakes region and localized areas of the Atlantic coast, which revealed serologic evidence of arbovirus exposure in mute swans. Of 497 mute swans tested, antibodies were detected for eastern equine encephalitis (4.8%), St. Louis encephalitis (1.4%), West Nile (1.2%), and Turlock (0.6%) viruses. Samples were also tested for evidence of antibodies to La Crosse virus, but none were positive.

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