Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Antibody prevalence of select arboviruses in mute swans (Cygnus olor) in the Great Lakes region and Atlantic coast of the United States.

Abstract

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.