Background: West Nile virus is an emerging infection of biodefense concern and there are no available treatments or vaccines. Here we used a high-throughput method based on a novel gene expression analysis, RNA-Seq, to give a global picture of differential gene expression by primary human macrophages of 10 healthy donors infected in vitro with WNV. Results: From a total of 50 million reads per sample, we employed a Bayesian hierarchical mixture model to identify 4,026 transcripts that were differentially expressed after infection. Both predicted and novel gene changes were detected, as were gene isoforms, and while many of the genes were expressed by all donors, some were unique. Knock-down of genes not previously known to be associated with WNV resistance identified their critical role in control of viral infection. Conclusions: Our study distinguishes both common gene pathways as well as novel cellular responses. Such analysis will be valuable for translational studies of susceptible and resistant individuals -- and for targeting therapeutics -- in multiple biological settings. Overall design: Differential gene expression by primary human macrophages of 10 healthy donors infected in vitro with WNV were generated by RNA-Seq.