Epidemiology and Infection



Short Paper

Wild birds as a possible natural reservoir of Borna disease virus


M.  BERG  a1, M.  JOHANSSON  a2, H.  MONTELL  a3 and A.-L.  BERG  a4 c1
a1 Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Section of Immunology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
a2 Department of Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
a3 Uppsala Graduate School in Biomedical Research (UGSBR), Sweden
a4 AstraZeneca, R&D Södertälje, Safety Assessment, Södertälje, Sweden

Abstract

The natural reservoir of Borna disease virus (BDV) is unknown. In this paper, we show that mallards (Anas platyrhyncos) and jackdaws (Corvus monedula) can be subclinically infected carriers of this virus. From faecal samples collected at a bird pond, we were able to amplify fragments of the BDV p24 and p40 genes. Following cloning and sequencing, a phylogenetic analysis revealed that these birds carry strains of BDV closely related to but distinct from the reference strains BDV V and He/80. To our knowledge, this is the first confirmed finding of BDV in wild birds.

(Accepted November 1 2000)


Correspondence:
c1 Author for correspondence: AstraZeneca, R&D Södertälje, Safety Assessment, S-151 85 Södertälje, Sweden.


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