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Molecular epidemiology of chicken anemia virus in Nigeria

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Between February 2002 and May 2004, chicken anemia virus (CAV) was detected by PCR in organ samples from 14 flocks of poultry farms in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States in Southwestern Nigeria. The farms reported low (<5%) to high mortalities (up to 100%) with various lesions at necropsy. The complete VP1 gene of 30 of these positive strains was sequenced. Strains that diverged by up to 4.4% on a nucleotide level differed only by up to 2.5% at the amino acid level (7 aa) as a result of clustered silent mutations. No amino acid substitutions specific for Nigerian strains were observed. Some birds had a CAV mixed infection. Genetic clustering of the VP1 gene did not correlate with differences in flock mortality but the co-infection of CAV with IBDV may be particularly lethal. This first molecular epidemiological study of CAV in Africa shows that the Nigerian strains cluster with viruses from very diverse geographic origins and were almost as diverse (4.4%) as all other strains combined (5.8%).

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Ducatez, M., Owoade, A., Abiola, J. et al. Molecular epidemiology of chicken anemia virus in Nigeria. Arch Virol 151, 97–111 (2006).

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