Prevalence of avian paramyxovirus type 1 in Mallards during autumn migration in the western Baltic Sea region
1 Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems (EEMiS), Linnæus University, Kalmar SE-391 82, Sweden
2 Department of Virology, Immunology and Parasitology, National Veterinary Institute (SVA), Ulls väg 2B, Uppsala 751 89, Sweden
Virology Journal 2013, 10:285 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-285Published: 12 September 2013
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is the causative agent of the Newcastle disease, a severe disease in birds associated with substantial economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. Sweden is situated along the Western European waterfowl flyway and applies a non-vaccination policy combined with directives of immediate euthanisation of NDV infected flocks. During the last decades there have been several outbreaks with NDV in poultry in Sweden. However, less is known about the virus prevalence in the wild bird population including waterfowl, a well-established reservoir of avian paramyxovirus type 1 (APMV-1), the paramyxovirus serotype that include pathogenic NDV.
The survey constituted of 2332 samples from Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), trapped in the southern part of Sweden during autumn migration in 2010. These samples were screened for APMV-1 by real-time reverse transcription PCR, and viral strains from positive samples were isolated and characterized by sequence analysis of the fusion gene and by phylogenetic analysis.
Twenty of these samples were positive for APMV-1, hence a virus prevalence of 0.9% (95% Confidence Interval [95% CI]=0.54%, 1.35%). The highest APMV-1 prevalence was detected in juvenile Mallards sampled in November (n=887, prevalence 1.24% ([95% CI])=0.67%, 2.24%). Sequence analysis and evaluation of phylogenetic relatedness indicated that isolated APMV-1 strains were lentogenic, and phylogenetically most closely related to genotype Ib strains within the clade of class II viruses. The sampling system employed enabled us to follow APMV-1 infections and the shedding of one particular viral strain in one individual bird over several days. Furthermore, combining previous screening results with the APMV-1 detections in this study showed that more than 50% of Mallards that tested positive for APMV-1 RNA were co-infected with influenza A virus.