Objective: To identify attributes of zoological institutions and surveillance system factors that were associated with participation in the West Nile Virus Surveillance System for Zoological Institutions in the USA, and to assess the potential effectiveness of zoos as a novel data source for surveillance of emerging infectious zoonoses. Study design: Retrospective. Methods: The number of specimens submitted between August 2001 and December 2006 for West Nile virus testing was determined for each institution. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the distribution of number of specimens submitted and features of the institutions. Student's t-test was used to assess potential associations between institutional and animal collection characteristics and the total number of specimens submitted by each institution. Results: Factors associated with institutional participation include: submitting specimens for specific purposes of serosurvey testing, sentinel surveillance, vaccine titre checks, vaccine effectiveness, submitting specimens for multiple reasons, and communication with public health. Conclusion: Understanding how zoo and surveillance system characteristics are associated with participation in this surveillance effort may enhance public health efforts and the design of future zoological surveillance efforts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
In 2001, the Lincoln Park Zoo Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology in Chicago, IL, USA implemented a voluntary, West Nile Virus Surveillance System for Zoological Institutions on behalf of the AZA, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States Department of Agriculture, and NYS Animal Health Diagnostic Center (NYSAHDC), Cornell University. Managed by the Lincoln Park Zoo Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, it provided testing through the NYSAHDC for West Nile virus (WNV) in collection animals and wildlife found dead or moribund on zoo grounds. Specimen testing was funded by the CDC. This system was designed to enhance human and animal surveillance efforts (ArboNET), augment local disease prevention and control measures, and strengthen collaboration between human and animal health organizations via reporting of results to the local health department.
- Public health partnership
- Zoological institutions