West Nile encephalitis in Israel, 1999: The New York connection

Michael Giladi*, Einat Metzkor-Cotter, Denise A. Martin, Yardena Siegman-Igra, Amos D. Korczyn, Raffaele Rosso, Stephen A. Berger, Grant L. Campbell, Robert S. Lanciotti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe two cases of West Nile (WN) encephalitis in a married couple in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1999. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction performed on a brain specimen from the husband detected a WN viral strain nearly identical to avian strains recovered in Israel in 1998 (99.9% genomic sequence homology) and in New York in 1999 (99.8%). This result supports the hypothesis that the 1999 WN virus epidemic in the United States originated from the introduction of a strain that had been circulating in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-661
Number of pages3
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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