Characterization of a new genotype of avian bornavirus from wild ducks

Jianhua Guo, H L Shivaprasad, Raquel R. Rech, Jill J. Heatley, Ian Tizard, Susan Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Avian bornaviruses (ABV) are a recently described group of intranuclear negative-stranded RNA viruses (Order Mononegavirales, Family Bornaviridae). At least 13 different ABV genotypes have been described. One genotype, the Canada goose genotype (ABV-CG), has been isolated from geese and swans and is widely distributed across North America. Results: We have isolated and characterized a previously undescribed genotype of avian bornavirus from the brains of wild ducks. This new genotype, provisionally designated ABV genotype MALL, was detected in 12 of 83 mallards, and 1 of 8 wood ducks collected at a single location in central Oklahoma. The virus was cultured on primary duck embryo fibroblasts, fragments were cloned, and its genome sequence of 8904 nucleotides determined. This new genotype has 72% nucleotide identity and 83% amino acid identity with the ABV-CG genotype previously shown to be present in geese and swans. Histologic and immunohistochemical examination of the brains and eyes of four positive ducks indicated the presence of virus-infected neurons and glia in their cerebrums and retinas in the absence of inflammation. Conclusions: More than one genotype of ABV is circulating in North American waterfowl. While the infected ducks were not observed to be suffering from overt disease, based on the immunohistochemistry, we speculate that they may have suffered some visual impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number197
JournalVirology Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 19 2014


  • Avian bornavirus
  • Genotype
  • Mallard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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