Skip to main content Accessibility help

Avian metapneumovirus infection in poultry

  • S. UMAR (a1), H. SABIR (a1), A. AHMED (a2) and S. SUBHAN (a3)


Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) infections are an economical issue for the poultry industry worldwide, and have been associated with upper respiratory tract infections and reductions in egg production in various avian species. The aMPV causes turkey rhinotracheitis (TRT) and is associated with swollen head syndrome (SHS) in chickens, which is usually accompanied by secondary infections that increase mortality. It was first reported in 1978 in South Africa and since then, has been seen in most regions of the world. It has been classified into four subgroups called: A, B, C and D. TRT and SHS are characterised by tracheal rales, sneezing, swollen sinuses, swollen head, and nasal and ocular discharge. The aMPV can lead to a drop in egg production and/or an increase in egg abnormalities in both turkeys and hens. Chickens may have antibodies without exhibiting clinical signs. Transmission requires direct contact among birds and its spread over long distances is uncertain, but wild birds are postulated as probable links. The aMPV infections can be diagnosed by serology (ELISA) and molecular methods (PCR). Good biosecurity and immune interventions are effective and necessary aspects of the control program. Live vaccines predominantly control aMPV infection in poultry flocks, but vaccine virus can be found for extended periods after application that may lead to reversion.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author:


Hide All
ARIAS, N., MACHUCA, M. and PETRUCCELLI, M.Á. (2015) Metapneumovirus aviar: revisión sobre aspectos etiológicos, clínicos, anatomopatológicosy epidemiológicos’. Analecta Veterinaria 35 (2):
AUNG, Y.H., LIMAN, M., NEUMANN, U. and RAUTENSCHLEIN, S. (2008) Reproducibility of swollen sinuses in broilers by experimental infection with avian metapneumovirus subtypes A and B of turkey origin and their comparative pathogenesis. Avian Pathology 37 (1): 65-74.
BENNETT, R.S., LARUE, R., SHAW, D., YU, Q., NAGARAJA, K. V., HALVORSON, D.A. and NJENGA, M.K. (2005) A wild goose Metapneumovirus containing a large attachment glycoprotein Is avirulent but immunoprotective in domestic Turkeys. Journal of Virology 79 (23): 14834-14842.
BUYS, S.B. and DU PEREZ, J.H. (1980) A preliminary report of a virus causingrhinotracheitis in turkeys in South Africa and attempts to attenuate the virus. Turkeys 28 (36): 46.
CATELLI, E., CECCHINATO, M., LUPINI, C., SPERATI, L., PESENTE, P., PICCIRILLO, A., FRANCIOSI, C. and NAYLOR, C.J. (2006) Molecular epidemiology avian pneumovirus strains in Italy. World's Poultry Science Journal 62: 135-136.
CATELLI, E., LUPINI, C., CECCHINATO, M., RICCHIZZI, E., BROWN, P. and NAYLOR, C.J. (2010) Field avian metapneumovirus evolution avoiding vaccine induced immunity. Vaccine 28 (4): 916-921.
CAVANAGH, D. and BARRETT, T. (1988) Pneumovirus-like characteristics of the mRNA and proteins of turkey rhinotracheitis virus. Virus Research 11 (3): 241-256.
CECCHINATO, M., CATELLI, E., LUPINI, C., RICCHIZZI, E., CLUBBE, J., BATTILANI, M. and NAYLOR, C.J. (2010) Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) attachment protein involvement in probable virus evolution concurrent with mass live vaccine introduction. Veterinary Microbiology 146 (1-2): 24-34.
CECCHINATO, M., CATELLI, E., LUPINI, C., RICCHIZZI, E., PROSPERI, S. and NAYLOR, C.J. (2014) Reversion to virulence of a subtype B avian metapneumovirus vaccine: is it time for regulators to require availability of vaccine progenitors? Vaccine 32 (36): 4660-4664.
CECCHINATO, M., LUPINI, C., MUNOZ POGORELTSEVA, O.S., LISTORTI, V., MONDIN, A., DRIGO, M. and CATELLI, E. (2013) Development of a real-time RT-PCR assay for the simultaneous identification, quantitation and differentiation of avian metapneumovirus subtypes A and B. Avian Pathology 42 (3): 283-289.
CHA, R.M., YU, Q. and ZSAK, L. (2013) The pathogenicity of avian metapneumovirus subtype C wild bird isolates in domestic turkeys. Virology Journal 10 (1): 38.
COOK, J.K.A. (2000) Avian pneumovirus infections of turkeys and chickens. Veterinary Journal 160 (2): 118-125.
COOK, J.K.A. (2009) Avian metapnuemovirus - nearly 30 years of vaccination. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Infectious Bronchitis and Pneumovirus Infections in Poultry. Rauischholzhausen, Germany, pp. 326-333.
COOK, J.K.A. and CAVANAGH, D. (2002) Detection and differentiation of avian pneumoviruses (metapneumoviruses). Avian Pathology 2: 117-132.
COOK, J.K.A., HUGGINS, M.B., ORBELL, S.J. and SENNE, D.A. (1999) Preliminary antigenic characterization of an avian pneumovirus isolated from commercial turkeys in Colorado, USA. Avian Pathology 28 (6): 607-617.
FELIPPE, P.A., DA SILVA, L.H.A., SANTOS, M.B.D., SAKATA, S.T. and ARNS, C.W. (2011) Detection of and phylogenetic studies with avian metapneumovirus recovered from feral pigeons and wild birds in Brazil. Avian Pathology 40 (5): 445-452.
GANAPATHY, K., BUFTON, A., PEARSON, A., LEMIERE, S. and JONES, R.C. (2010) Vaccination of commercial broiler chicks against avian metapneumovirus infection: a comparison of drinking-water, spray and oculo-oral delivery methods. Vaccine 28 (23): 3944-3948.
GANAPATHY, K. and JONES, R.C. (2007) Vaccination of chicks with live attenuated subtype B avian metapneumovirus vaccines: protection against challenge and immune responses can be unrelated to vaccine dose. Avian Diseases 51 (3): 733-737.
GIOVANARDI, D., LUPINI, C., PESENTE, P., ROSSI, G., ORTALI, G. and CATELLI, E. (2014) Longitudinal field studies of avian Metapneumovirus and Turkey hemorrhagic enteritis virus in turkeys suffering from colibacillosis associated mortality. Veterinary Research Communications 38 (2): 129-137.
GIRAUD, P., BENNEJEAN, G., GUITTET, M. and TOQUIN, D. (1986) Turkey rhinotracheitis in France: preliminary investigations on a ciliostatic virus. The Veterinary Record 119 (24): 606-607.
GOUGH, R.E. and JONES, R.C. (2008) Avian Metapneumovirus, in: SAIF, Y.M. (Ed.) Diseases of poultry, 12th ed., pp. 100-110 (Ames: Blackwell Publishing).
HESS, M., HUGGINS, M.B. and HEINCZ, U. (2004) Hatchability, serology and virus excretion following in ovo vaccination of chickens with an avian metapneumovirus vaccine. Avian Pathology 33 (6): 576-580.
HOMAYOUNFAR, N., SHOUSHTARI, H., CHARKHKAR, S. and BOZORGMEHRIFARD, M. (2015) Detection by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and molecular characterization of avian metapneumovirus in chicken flocks in Iran. WALIA Journal 31 (S3): 170-174.
JIRJIS, F.F., NOLL, S.L., HALVORSON, D.A., NAGARAJA, K.V. and SHAW, D.P. (2002) Pathogenesis of avian Pneumovirus infection in Turkeys. Veterinary Pathology 39 (3): 300-310.
JONES, R.C. (2001) Pneumovirinae, in: JORDAN, F., PATTISON, M.D., ALEXANDER, D. & FARAGHER, T. (Eds) Poultry Diseases, pp. 272-280 (W.B. Saunders Publishers).
LAMB, R.A., COLLINS, P.L., KOLAKOFSKY, D., MELERO, J.A., NAGAI, Y., OLDSTORE, M.B., PRINGLE, A.C.R. and RIMA, B.K. (2000) Family paramyxoviridae, in: VAN REGENMORTEL, M.H.V. (Ed.) Virus taxonomy: classification and nomenclature of viruses, seventh report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, pp. 549-561 (San Diego: Academic Press).
LIMAN, M. and RAUTENSCHLEIN, S. (2007) Induction of local and systemic immune reactions following infection of turkeys with avian Metapneumovirus (aMPV) subtypes A and B. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 115 (3-4): 273-285.
LISTORTI, V., LUPINI, C., CECCHINATO, M., PESENTE, P., ROSSI, G., GIOVANARDI, D., NAYLOR, C.J. and CATELLI, E. (2014) Rapid detection of subtype B avian metapneumoviruses using RT-PCR restriction endonuclease digestion indicates field circulation of vaccine-derived viruses in older turkeys. Avian Pathology 43 (1): 51-56.
MAJÓ, N., MARTÍ, M., O'LOAN, C.J., ALLAN, G.M., PAGÈS, A. and RAMIS, A. (1996) Ultrastructural study of turkey rhinotracheitis virus infection in turbinates of experimentally infected chickens. Veterinary Microbiology 52 (1-2): 37-48.
MARIEN, M., DECOSTERE, A., MARTEL, A., CHIERS, K., FROYMAN, R. and NAUWYNCK, H. (2005) Synergy between avian pneumovirus and Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale in turkeys. Avian Pathology 34 (3): 204-211.
McDOUGALL, J.S. and COOK, J.K. (1986) Turkey rhinotracheitis: preliminary investigations. The Veterinary Record 118 (8): 206-207.
MORLEY, A.J. and THOMSON, D.K. (1984) Swollen-head syndrome in broiler chickens. Avian Diseases 28 (1): 238-243.
RIVERA-BENITEZ, J.F., MARTÍNEZ-BAUTISTA, R., RÍOS-CAMBRE, F. and RAMÍREZ-MENDOZA, H. (2014) Molecular detection and isolation of avian metapneumovirus in Mexico. Avian Pathology 43 (3): 217-223.
RUBBENSTROTH, D. and RAUTENSCHLEIN, S. (2010) Compromised T-cell immunity in turkeys may lead to an unpredictable avian metapneumovirus vaccine response and variable protection against challenge. Avian Pathology 39 (5): 349-357.
SEIFI, S. and BOROOMAND, Z. (2015) The role of avian Metapenumovirus in respiratory complex disease circulating in broilers In Northern Iran. Trakia Journal of Science 13 (2): 175-179.
SHIN, H.-J., NAGARAJA, K.V., MCCOMB, B., HALVORSON, D. A., JIRJIS, F.F., SHAW, D.P., SEAL, B.S. and NJENGA, M.K. (2002) Isolation of avian pneumovirus from mallard ducks that is genetically similar to viruses isolated from neighboring commercial turkeys. Virus Research 83 (1-2): 207-212.
SMIALEK, M., PESTKA, D., TYKALOWSKI, B., STENZEL, T. and KONCICKI, A. (2015) Development of vaccine-induced immunity against TRT in turkeys depends remarkably on the level of maternal antibodies and the age of birds on the day of vaccination. BMC Veterinary Research 11: 28.
SMIALEK, M., TYKAŁOWSKI, B., STENZEL, T. and KONCICKI, A. (2012) The perspective of immunoprophylaxis and selected immunological issues in the course of the turkey rhinotracheitis. Polish Journal of Veterinary Sciences 15 (1): 175-180.
SUN, J., WEI, Y., RAUF, A., ZHANG, Y., MA, Y., ZHANG, X., SHILO, K., YU, Q., SAIF, Y.M., LU, X., YU, L. and LI, J. (2014) Methyltransferase-defective avian Metapneumovirus vaccines provide complete protection against challenge with the homologous Colorado Strain and the heterologous Minnesota Strain. Journal of Virology 88 (21): 12348-12363.
TOWNSEND, E., HALVORSON, D.A., NAGARAJA, K.V. and SHAW, D.P. (2000) Susceptibility of an avian pneumovirus isolated from Minnesota turkeys to physical and chemical agents. Avian Diseases 44 (2): 336-342.
UMAR, S., ARIF, M., SHAH, M.A.A., MUNIR, M.T., AHMED, S. and KHAN, M.I. (2015) Application of Avian cytokines as immuno-modulating agents: a review. World's Poultry Science Journal 71: 643-653
UMAR, S., SHAH, M.A.A. and MUNIR, M.T. (2016a) Infectious bronchitis virus: Evolution and vaccination. World's Poultry Science Journal 72: 49-60.
UMAR, S., SHAH, M.A.A., SUBHAN, S., TARIQ, A. and MUNIR, M.T. (2016b) Mycoplasmosis in poultry: update on diagnosis and preventive measures. World's Poultry Science Journal (in press).
VAN LOOCK, M., LOOTS, K., VAN DE ZANDE, S., VAN HEERDEN, M., NAUWYNCK, H., GODDEERIS, B.M. and VANROMPAY, D. (2006) Pathogenic interactions between Chlamydophila psittaci and avian pneumovirus infections in turkeys. Veterinary Microbiology 112 (1): 53-63.
VELAYUDHAN, B.T., NAGARAJA, K.V., THACHIL, A.J., SHAW, D.P., GRAY, G.C. and HALVORSON, D.A. (2006) Human Metapneumovirus in Turkey poults. Emerging Infectious Diseases12 (12): 1853-1859.
VILLARREAL, L.Y.B., BRANDÃO, P.E., CHACÓN, J.L., ASSAYAG, M.S., MAIORKA, P.C., RAFFI, P., SAIDENBERG, A.B.S., JONES, R.C. and FERREIRA, A.J.P. (2007) Orchitis in roosters with reduced fertility associated with avian infectious bronchitis virus and avian metapneumovirus infections. Avian Diseases 51 (4): 900-904.


Avian metapneumovirus infection in poultry

  • S. UMAR (a1), H. SABIR (a1), A. AHMED (a2) and S. SUBHAN (a3)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed