Genotypic characterization and molecular evolution of avian reovirus in poultry flocks from Brazil.
Avian reovirus (ARV) is one of the main causes of infectious arthritis/tenosynovitis and malabsorption syndrome (MAS) in poultry. ARVs have been disseminated in Brazilian poultry flocks in the last years. This study aimed to genotype ARVs and to evaluate the molecular evolution of the more frequent ARV lineages detected in Brazilian poultry-producing farms. A total of 100 poultry flocks with clinical signs of tenosynovitis/MAS, from all Brazilian poultry-producing regions were positive for ARV by PCR. Seventeen bird tissues were submitted to cell culture and ARV RNA detection/genotyping by two PCRs. The phylogenetic classification was based on σC gene alignment using a dataset with other Brazilian and worldwide ARVs sequences. ARVs were specifically detected by both PCRs from the 17 cell cultures, and σC gene partial fragments were sequenced. All these sequences were aligned with a total of 451 ARV σC gene data available in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated five well-defined clusters that were classified into lineages I, II, III, IV, and V. Three lineages could be further divided into sub-lineages: I (I vaccine, Ia, Ib), II (IIa, IIb, IIc) and IV (IVa and IVb). Brazilian ARVs were from four lineages/sub-lineages: Ib (48.2%), IIb (22.2%), III (3.7%) and V (25.9%). The Bayesian analysis demonstrated that the most frequent sub-lineage Ib emerged in the world around 1968 and it was introduced into Brazil in 2010, with increasing spread soon after. In conclusion, four different ARV lineages are circulating in Brazilian poultry flocks, all associated with clinical diseases.