Avian paramyxoviruses and influenza viruses isolated from mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) in New Zealand
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A comprehensive study using virological and serological approaches was carried out to determine the status of live healthy mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) in New Zealand for infections with avian paramyxoviruses (APMV) and influenza viruses (AIV). Thirty-three viruses isolated from 321 tracheal and cloacal swabs were characterized as: 6 AIV (two H5N2 and four H4N6), 10 APMV-1 and 17 APMV-4. Of 335 sera samples tested for AIV antibodies, 109 (32.5%) sera were positive by nucleoprotein-blocking ELISA (NP-B-ELISA). Serum samples (315) were examined for antibody to APMV-1, -2, -3, -4, -6, -7, -8, -9 by the haemagglutination inhibition test. The largest number of reactions, with titres up to ≥1/64, was to APMV-1 (93.1%), followed by APMV-6 (85.1%), APMV-8 (56%), APMV-4 (51.7%), APMV-7 (47%), APMV-9 (15.9%), APMV-2 (13.3%) and APMV-3 (6.0%). All of the H5N2 isolates of AIV and the APMV-1 isolates from this and earlier New Zealand studies had low pathogenicity indices assessed by the Intravenous Pathogenicity Index (IVPI) with the result 0.00 and Intracerebral Pathogenicity Index (ICPI) with results 0.00–0.16. Partial genomic and antigenic analyses were also consistent with the isolates being non-pathogenic. Phylogenetic analysis of the 10 APMV-1 isolates showed 9 to be most similar to the reference APMV-1 strain D26/76 originally isolated in Japan and also to the Que/66 strain, which was isolated in Australia. The other isolate was very similar to a virus (MC 110/77) obtained from a shelduck in France.
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