Open Access Open Badges Research

Epidemiology of chicken anemia virus in Central African Republic and Cameroon

Chantal J Snoeck1, Giscard F Komoyo2, Bonya P Mbee3, Emmanuel Nakouné2, Alain Le Faou4, Mbah P Okwen3 and Claude P Muller1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Immunology, Centre de Recherche Public de la Santé/National Public Health Laboratory, 20A rue Auguste Lumière, L-1950, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

2 Institut Pasteur de Bangui, Bangui, Central African Republic

3 District Hospital Bali, North West Regional Delegation of Public Health, Bamenda, Cameroon

4 Laboratoire de Virologie Hôpital de Brabois Adultes, CHU de Nancy, 54511, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France

For all author emails, please log on.

Virology Journal 2012, 9:189  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-189

Published: 8 September 2012



Although chicken anemia virus (CAV) has been detected on all continents, little is known about this virus in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed to detect and characterize CAV for the first time in Central African Republic and in Cameroon.


An overall flock seroprevalence of 36.7% was found in Central African Republic during the 2008–2010 period. Virus prevalences were 34.2% (2008), 14.3% (2009) and 10.4% (2010) in Central African Republic and 39% (2007) and 34.9% (2009) in Cameroon. CAV DNA was found in cloacal swabs of 76.9% of seropositive chickens, suggesting that these animals excreted the virus despite antibodies. On the basis of VP1 sequences, most of the strains in Central African Republic and Cameroon belonged to 9 distinct phylogenetic clusters at the nucleotide level and were not intermixed with strains from other continent. Several cases of mixed infections in flocks and individual chickens were identified.


Our results suggest multiple introductions of CAV in each country that later spread and diverged locally. Mixed genotype infections together with the observation of CAV DNA in cloacal samples despite antibodies suggest a suboptimal protection by antibodies or virus persistence.

Chicken anemia virus; Central African Republic; Cameroon; Antibodies; PCR; Phylogeny; Mixed infection