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Molecular characterization of avian rotaviruses circulating in Italian poultry flocks

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Avian rotaviruses are still largely undefined despite being widespread in several avian species and despite the economic impact of rotavirus (RV) enteritis in poultry flocks. In this study, the presence of different avian RV groups was investigated in commercial poultry flocks reared in Northern and Central Italy and with a history of enteric diseases. Faeces or intestinal contents from different avian species previously found to contain RV particles by electron microscopy (EM) were analysed by both RNA-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction specific for groups A, D, F and G RVs. Group D avian RV was detected in 107 of 117 samples tested (91.5%), whereas groups A, F and G avian RVs were present in 70 (59%), 61 (52.1%) and 31 (26.5%) samples, respectively. Multiple presence of different RV groups was detected in 83% of samples. This study provides novel data on the prevalence of genetically different avian RVs in Italian poultry flocks. This information is useful to elucidate the epidemiology of avian RVs circulating in Italy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria e Sicurezza Alimentare, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Roma, Italy 2: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna, Via Antonio Bianchi, 7/9, 25124, Brescia, Italy

Publication date: November 2, 2015

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