Molecular characterization of circulating avian metapneumovirus, subgroup B, in broiler chickens, Iran, 2016-2018

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student in Virology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Veterinary Service, Savapars Company (Ceva Sante Animale Co. Exclusive Distributor in Iran), Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

5 Department of Poultry Diseases, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran

6 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Background: Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) infection has significant economic impacts on the poultry industry all around the world. Aims: The aim of this study is molecular investigations of different types of aMPV in broiler farms in different provinces of Iran from 2016 to 2018. Methods: Tracheal and oropharyngeal swabs were collected from two hundred broiler chickens with respiratory signs in ten provinces of Iran, including Kurdistan, West Azerbaijan, Semnan, Esfahan, Sistan and Baluchistan, Qazvin, Khuzestan, Fars, Gilan, and Khorasan Razavi from February 2016 to December 2018. After RNA extraction, the presence of aMPV was confirmed using N gene special primers. Then, subtype-specific primers were utilized to differentiate the specific subtype. All positive samples were sequenced. Results: As a general trend, the percentage of aMPV positive chickens increased gradually over time. All samples were clustered together and placed in the subtype B aMPV group. Although 2 samples from 2016 and 2 samples from 2018 were placed in a separate branch, most of the current study samples of 2016, 2017, and 2018 revealed six segregated sub-branches, and they were placed close to other isolates of 2011 and 2013 from Iran. Conclusion: The current field study indicated the presence of aMPV in a considerable number of areas in Iran. Thus, the role of this virus in broiler respiratory complex should not be neglected.


Main Subjects

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