West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne, single positive-stranded RNA virus, has been the leading cause of arboviral encephalitis in the U.S. and other parts of the world over the past decade. Up to 50 % of WNV convalescent patients were reported to have long-term neurological sequelae or chronic kidney diseases. However, there are neither antiviral drugs nor vaccines available for humans. The underlying mechanism of the long-term sequelae is not clearly understood either. Animal models have been an effective tool to investigate viral pathogenesis and host immunity in humans. Here, we will review several commonly used murine models of WNV infection.