Oral Presentation 64th International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association 2015

Avian bornavirus in free-ranging waterfowl in North America and Europe (#10)

Jesper Brinkmann 1 2 , Anders F Thomsen 1 2 , Mads F Bertelsen 1 , Charlotte K Hjulsager 3 , Mariann Chriél 3 , Pauline Delnatte 4 , Davor Okjic 5 , Dale A Smith 6
  1. Copenhagen Zoo, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. Toronto Zoo, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. Animal Health Laboratory, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  6. Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

The first avian bornavirus (ABV) was identified in 2008 by researchers investigating the cause of proventricular dilation disease in psittacine birds 3,4. A distinctly separate genotype (ABV-CG) was discovered in 2009 in association with neurological disease in free-ranging Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) in Ontario, Canada 1. Since then this genotype, now identified as ABBV-1, has been identified from a variety of wild avian species 5, predominantly waterfowl, in North America at prevalences ranging from 10 to 50%, and in 2014 an additional genotype was identified in mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) 2. In order to determine whether avian bornavirus was present in European waterfowl, the brains of 333 hunter killed geese in Denmark were examined by real time RT-PCR for the presence of avian bornavirus; seven birds (2.1%) were positive. Sequences were 98.18-99.83 % identical to each other, and 97.38-98.06 % identical to a reference sequence of ABBV-1 from North America. This is the first finding of ABV in wild waterfowl in Europe, and extends the range of waterfowl species in which the virus has been identified to include the pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus), greylag goose (Anser anser), andbarnacle goose (Branta leucopsis). Given the migration paths of these species, avian bornavirus is likely to have a much wider geographic range than has previously been suspected.

  1. Delnatte P, Berkvens C, Kummrow M, Smith DA, Campbell D, Crawshaw G, Ojkic D, DeLay J. (2011) New genotype of avian bornavirus in wild geese and trumpeter swans in Canada. Vet Rec 169:108.
  2. Guo J, Shivaprasad HL, Rech RR, Heatley JJ, Tizard I, Payne S. (2014) Characterization of a new genotype of avian bornavirus from wild ducks. Virology journal 11(1):197.
  3. Honkavuori KS, Shivaprasad HL, Williams BL, Quan P-L, Hornig M, Street C, Palacios G, Hutchison SK, Franca M, Egholm M, Briese T, Lipkin WI. (2008) Novel Borna virus in psittacine birds with proventricular dilatation disease. Emerg Infect Dis 14:1883–1886.
  4. Kistler AL, Gancz A, Clubb S, Skewes-Cox P, Fischer K, Sorber K, Chiu CY, Lublin A, Mechani S, Farnoushi Y, Greninger A, Wen CC, Karlene SB, Ganem D, DeRisi JL. (2008) Recovery of divergent avian bornaviruses from cases of proventricular dilatation disease: identification of a candidate etiologic agent. Virol J 5:88.
  5. Payne SL, Delnatte P, Guo J, Heatley JJ, Tizard I, Smith DA. (2012) Birds and bornaviruses. Animal Health Research Reviews 13(2): 145-156.