Molecular Characterization of Circulating Avian Metapneumovirus, Subgroup B, in Broiler Chickens, Iran, 2016-2018

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


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



Background: Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) infection has significant economic impacts on the poultry industry all around the world. Methods: Tracheal and oropharyngeal swabs were collected from two hundred broiler flocks 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 by 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 percent of aMPV positive flocks increased gradually over time. All the Iranian 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 considerable parts of Iran with different areas. Thus, the role of this virus in the respiratory complex of broilers should not be neglected.


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