Tel. +49 30 838 51833 Fax. +49 30 838 451847
West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus of global importance. Over the last two decades, it has been responsible for significant numbers of cases of illness in humans and animals in many parts of the world. In Ukraine, WNV infections in humans and birds were first reported more than 25 years ago, yet the current epidemiological status is quite unclear. In this study, serum samples from over 300 equines were collected and screened in order to detect current WNV activity in Ukraine with the goal to estimate the risk of infection for humans and horses. Sera were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and virus neutralization assay (NT) to detect WNV-specific antibodies. The results clearly revealed that WNV circulates in most of the regions from which samples were obtained, shown by a WNV seroprevalence rate of 13.5% of examined horses. This is the first topical report indicating the presence of WNV infections in horses in Ukraine, and the results of this study provide evidence of a widespread WNV circulation in this country.