Submitted to: Symposium on Avian Pneumovirus
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/24/2001
Publication Date: 9/24/2001
Technical Abstract: Migratory birds are reservoirs for avian influenza viruses (AIV) and paramyxoviruses (PMV), and can be a source of such viruses to domestic poultry. SEPRL and two university partners are conducting a five year national surveillance program for AIV and PMV in wild bird populations across the USA. As an adjunct to this study, surveillance for evidence of avian pneumovirus (APV) infection in wild bird populations not associated with APV infected areas is being conducted. Respiratory tract swabs from birds were examined for APV by virus isolation, dot blot hybridization and RT-PCR. Two hundred eight samples representing five bird species (mallard ducks, coots, grackle, cowbird and starling) from four states were examined (Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota and North Carolina). Seventeen cytopathic agents were isolated in chicken embryo fibroblast cultures, but only one had suspected hybridization to APV M gene probe. RT-PCR was unable to confirm an APV in the sample. Future studies are underway to test sera fro wild birds for evidence of APV infection via a competitive ELISA. This will potentially identify infected populations of birds in specific geographic areas and allow concentrated sampling for APV isolation.