A survey for paramyxoviruses in caged birds, wild birds, and poultry in New Zealand

A survey for paramyxoviruses in caged birds, wild birds, and poultry in New Zealand
Peer reviewed


AIMS:  To determine the presence of avian paramyxovirus (APMV) types 1, 2, and 3 in caged and wild birds, and APMV-2 and -3 in poultry in New Zealand.
METHODS:  Blood samples collected from caged (231) and wild birds (522) from various regions of New Zealand in 1997-99 were tested by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) test for antibodies to APMV types 1, 2, and 3. Blood samples collected from 1778 commercial poultry in 1996-99 were tested for APMV-2 and APMV-3 antibodies and the samples that reacted with APMV-3 antigen were tested for antibodies to APMV-1. Isolation of APMV was attempted from cloacal swabs collected from 116 of the caged birds and 175 of the wild birds sampled.
RESULTS:  Antibodies to APMV types 1, 2, and 3 were detected in 4.8, 1.7, and 2.6%, respectively, of caged bird samples. The majority of these caged birds were `exotic` or `fancy` poultry breeds. Amongst wild birds, 4.2% had titres to APMV-2 and over half of these were passerine birds; 1.7% of the samples had titres to APMV-1 and 0.8% to APMV-3 antigen. No virus was isolated from any of the cloacal swabs tested. Of the 1778 poultry serum samples tested, only 5 reacted with APMV-3 antigen and these were later found to be cross-reactions to APMV-1. No reactions were detected with APMV-2 antigen.
CONCLUSIONS: APMV-1 is present in caged birds, wild birds, and poultry of New Zealand. There is no conclusive evidence of the presence of APMV-2 and APMV-3 in poultry or APMV-3 in wild birds. The results do not provide conclusive evidence for the presence of APMV-2 in wild birds in New Zealand.
KEY WORDS: Paramyxovirus types 1, 2, and 3, Newcastle disease virus, caged birds, wild birds, poultry.

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