Avian Metapneumovirus Review: A Focus on Broilers

Document Type : Review


1 HIPRA Laboratorios S.A., 17170 Av. Selva, Amer, Spain

2 Laboratory of Epidemiology and Veterinary Microbiology, Institut Pasteur of Tunis, University Tunis El Manar, 13, place Pasteur, B.P. 74, 1002 Tunis, Belvédère Tunis, Tunisia

3 Mouahid’s Veterinart Clinic, Bd. Hassan I Lot20 Appt1 Hay Abbadi, 12010, Témara, Morocco

4 Department of Pathology and Veterinary Public Health, Avian Pathology Unit, IAV Hassan II, Madinat Al Irfane, 6202 Rabat, Morocco

5 Department of Pathology and Veterinary Public Health, Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Unit, IAV Hassan II, Madinat Al Irfane, PO Box 6202 Rabat, Morocco


Avian Metapneumovirus infection first emerged in South African turkeys, followed by respiratory problems in chickens with a swollen head syndrome. The etiological agent is a Metapneumovirus in the Pneumoviridae family and the first pneumovirus identified in avian species. This virus causes respiratory and reproductive affections that are worsened in the presence of other pathogens. The present review summarized the current knowledge about the virus’s properties and spread, its different subtypes, and the immunological and pathological mechanisms, especially in the broilers. The diagnostic methods are based on serology and essentially ELISA to show and titer antibodies following infection in naïve birds. Molecular tools such as PCR aim to detect and subtype avian Metapneumovirus genetic material. Besides biosecurity, prevention relies mostly on good management and vaccination.


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