Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

26.07.2017

Type 15 avian paramyxovirus does not pose a threat to humans or birds; preliminary genetic analysis shows that it is closest to viruses found previously in South America

Researchers at the University of São Paulo's Biomedical Science Institute (ICB-USP) in Brazil have discovered a new virus in a migratory bird species. This is such a rare find that it can be considered a stroke of luck, especially because the virus in question is avian paramyxovirus 15, which belongs to the same family as avian paramyxovirus 1, the pathogen that causes Newcastle disease. This disease is not a health hazard for humans but can be lethal to wildfowl and domestic poultry.


Researchers have discovered a new virus in a white-rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis), a migratory bird species.

Credit: Isaac Simão Neto

"We perform active monitoring of viruses in migratory birds. I was looking for Newcastle disease virus, a type 1 avian paramyxovirus, and my colleague Jansen de Araújo aimed to detect avian influenza virus for his research project. Finally, we found a co-infection by two viruses, one of which was totally unknown until then," said Luciano Matsumiya Thomazelli, a researcher at ICB-USP's Clinical & Molecular Virology Laboratory.

Since 2005, the lab team has been going into the field to perform epidemiological surveillance in different parts of Brazil as part of the Viral Genetic Diversity Network (VGDN), funded by FAPESP and headed by Professor Edison Luiz Durigon.

Their goal is to detect the presence of avian influenza virus and Newcastle disease virus, among others, in birds and other wild animals. In addition to monitoring, they aim to assess the risk of new strains arriving in Brazil. The samples collected by the team are stored in freezers at -80 °C and used in scientific research.

The new virus was found in a sample taken from a white-rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) captured in April 2012 in the Lagoa do Peixe National Park in Rio Grande do Sul State. More research is required to determine how much of a threat the virus represents, but, the current evidence suggests that it is not a risk to humans. "Genetically speaking, it's closer to viruses first described in South America, which leads us to believe it may have originated in this part of the world," Thomazelli said.

The researchers followed the standard method for analyzing samples. The result was positive for avian influenza on the basis of real-time PCR, a molecular biology technique that detects DNA or RNA in the sample. When the virus was isolated from embryonated chicken eggs, the result was negative for Newcastle disease virus, but the red blood cell agglutination reaction showed that it was a different virus from the one that the researchers were seeking.

"We sent the sample to collaborators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee (USA), who sequenced the complete genome of the large amount found in the sample. To our surprise, the sample contained a co-infection by avian influenza virus and something entirely new. We focused on influenza and found this other virus as well," Thomazelli said.

On the basis of these results, the researchers performed biological tests for pathogenicity and data confirmation. Because biosafety was involved, they sent an aliquot of the isolated virus to the Agriculture Ministry's National Laboratory, which also performed biological and serological tests confirming that the virus was a new species and did not pose a threat.

"This was a relief, especially considering that Brazil is the world's leading exporter of frozen chicken," Thomazelli said. "Any pathogenic avian virus would be a major concern, especially if it affected poultry, but that's not the case."

The discovery of new viruses is still a rarity, but it is becoming less infrequent because of next-generation sequencing.

"The virus we discovered is the 15th type of avian paramyxovirus. Two years ago, there were only ten types. Knowledge in this area has increased significantly as a result," Thomazelli said.

Media Contact

Samuel Antenor
samuel@fapesp.br
55-113-838-4381

 @AgencyFAPESP

http://www.fapesp.br 

Samuel Antenor | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>