Evidence of avian pneumovirus spread beyond minnesota among wild and domestic birds in central North America

R. S. Bennett, J. Nezworski, B. T. Velayudhan, K. V. Nagaraja, D. H. Zeman, N. Dyer, T. Graham, D. C. Lauer, M. K. Njenga, D. A. Halvorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


To detect avian pneumovirus (APV) in central North America, nasal turbinates of choanal cleft tissues from domestic turkeys and wild birds were examined for the presence of APV RNA by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), whereas serum samples from domestic turkeys were analyzed for APV antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In 2002, the seroprevalence of disease in domestic turkeys in Minnesota remained high (42.3% of the flocks). In addition, there is evidence the disease has spread to turkey flocks in North Dakota (8.2%), South Dakota (7%), Iowa (10%), and Wisconsin (8.6%) as detected by RT-PCR and/or ELISA. House sparrows and ring-billed gulls sampled in Minnesota and snow geese from Saskatchewan, Canada, were found to harbor APV RNA. Sequence analysis of wild bird APV strains showed high amino acid sequence identity among wild bird isolates (<97%) and between wild bird and turkey viral isolates (93.2%-99.3%). This study demonstrated that APV infections were present in domestic turkey flocks and wild birds outside the state of Minnesota; however, the role of wild birds in spreading APV to domestic turkeys remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)902-908
Number of pages7
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Avian pneumovirus
  • Common tern
  • House sparrow
  • Ring-billed gull
  • Snow goose
  • Turkey

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