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


Date of this Version

July 2003


Published in Emerging Infectious Diseases • Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2003. Permission to use.


The West Nile Virus and Wildlife Health Workshop, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, National Audubon Society, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, was held February 5–7, 2003, at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland. The event was attended by more than 100 scientists, who heard 29 speakers and participated in strategy discussions during the 2-day meeting. The main focus of the conference was the present and future impact of West Nile virus on wildlife populations. Talks and discussions emphasized how basic research, public health, and land management can contribute to our understanding of the disease’s impact and spread. A primary objective of this meeting was to develop future research priorities from both basic and applied perspectives.

The conference centered around four main themes: 1) host, vector, and pathogen interactions (disease ecology); 2) vertebrate behavior and ecology; 3) vector behavior and ecology; and 4) modeling and spatial statistics. We describe some of the findings from the meeting. For an in-depth summary of this meeting, please visit the conference website for meeting abstracts and a downloadable conference white paper (available from: URL: www.serc.si.edu/migratorybirds/ migratorybirds_index.htm).