Circulation of avian paramyxoviruses in wild birds of Kazakhstan in 2002–2013
Background: Screening wild birds for avian paramyxoviruses is of increasing importance. 6913 samples of tracheal and cloacal swabs were collected during 2002–2013 and tested to study the prevalence of APMVs in wild avifauna of Kazakhstan. As a result, 45 isolates were obtained during this period and their ecological niches and genetic relationships were defined. Methods: Tracheal and cloacal samples from wild birds were collected using sterile swabs placed in viral transport medium and kept in liquid nitrogen until delivery to the laboratory. Samples were inoculated into 10-day-old embryonated chicken eggs and reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) assays were performed via a one-step protocol. The PCR products were sequenced and phylogenetic trees were constructed using the ‘Neighbour Joining’ method. Results: Six thousand nine hundred thirteen samples from 183 bird species were investigated and 45 isolates belonging to four different serotypes APMV-1, APMV-4, APMV-6 and APMV-8 were identified. All APMVs were isolated predominantly from birds belonging to Anatidae family (ducks and geese) and only one APMV-4 isolate was obtained from shorebird (Curlew) on the Caspian seashore. Genetic studies showed that the recovered APMV-1 strains had highest homology with European isolates. APMV-4 strains isolated in 2003, and APMV-6 and APMV-8 isolated in 2013 were 99 % identical to isolates from Far East. Conclusion: This is the first reported characterization of avian paramyxoviruses from wild birds isolated in Kazakhstan. These data confirm the wide distribution of APMV-1, APMV-4 and APMV-6 in the Asian subcontinent. The obtained data contribute to the accumulation of knowledge on the genetic diversity and prevalence of APMVs in wild bird populations.