Genetic characterization of avian metapneumovirus subtype C isolated from pheasants in a live bird market
Abstract Complete nucleotide sequences of two avian metapneumoviruses (aMPV), designated PL-1 and PL-2, were isolated from pheasants, revealing novel sequences of the first aMPV to be fully sequenced in Korea. The complete genome of both PL-1 and PL-2 was composed of 13,170 nucleotides. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that PL-1 belonged to aMPV subtype C, sharing higher homology in deduced amino acid sequence identities with hMPV, rather than with aMPV subtypes A and B. Replication of PL-1 in experimentally re-infected pheasants was confirmed by reverse transcription (RT)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Chickens and mice were experimentally inoculated with PL-1 to test the replication potential of PL-1 in other species. Although one specimen from the nasal turbinates of an inoculated chicken showed a slight trace of viral replication at 3 days post-infection (dpi), all of the infected mice were negative for aMPV by RT-PCR throughout the experiment, suggesting that PL-1 does not readily infect mammals. This is the first report of the isolation and complete genomic sequence of aMPV subtype C originating from pheasants.