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Detection of and phylogenetic studies with avian metapneumovirus recovered from feral pigeons and wild birds in Brazil

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The aim of the present study was to determine whether avian metapneumovirus (aMPV)-related viruses were present in wild and synanthropic birds in Brazil. Therefore, we analysed samples from wild birds, feral pigeons and domestic chickens in order to perform a phylogenetic comparison. To detect the presence of aMPV, a nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction was performed with the aim of amplifying a fragment of 270 bases for subtype A and 330 bases for subtype B, comprising the gene coding the G glycoprotein. Positive samples for aMPV subtypes A and B were found in seven (13.2%) different asymptomatic wild birds and pigeons (50%) that had been received at the Bosque dos Jequitibás Zoo Triage Center, Brazil. Also analysed were positive samples from 15 (12.9%) domestic chickens with swollen head syndrome from several regions of Brazil. The positive samples from wild birds, pigeons and domestic chickens clustered in two major phylogenetic groups: some with aMPV subtype A and others with subtype B. The similarity of the G fragment nucleotide sequence of aMPV isolated from chickens and synanthropic and wild avian species ranged from 100 to 97.5% (from 100 to 92.5% for the amino acids). Some positive aMPV samples, which were obtained from wild birds classified in the Orders Psittaciformes, Anseriformes and Craciformes, clustered with subtype A, and others from the Anas and Dendrocygma genera (Anseriformes Order) with subtype B. The understanding of the epizootiology of aMPV is very important, especially if this involves the participation of non-domestic bird species, which would add complexity to their control on farms and to implementation of vaccination programmes for aMPV.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Virology, Institute of Biology,State University of Campinas, CampinasSP, Brazil

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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