Serological investigation of low pathogenic avian influenza and Newcastle disease virus antibodies in Japanese quails, 30 village weavers and one laughing dove in two states of Nigeria.
Background: In spite of efforts to control avian influenza (AI) and Newcastle disease (ND) over decades, circulation of the viral causative agents among domestic and feral birds is considered implicated factors for the intermittent outbreaks of AI and ND among domesticated birds as well as commercial poultry flocks in Nigeria. In this study, sera from domestic (Japanese quails) and peri-domestic birds including laughing dove and village weavers were screened for antibodies to low pathogenic AI virus (LPAIV) and ND virus (NDV). Methods: A competitive ELISA was used to detect anti-AI virus antibodies in the sera of 101 unvaccinated Japanese quails, 30 village weavers and one laughing dove caught for human consumption in Oyo and Osun states, Nigeria. Hemagglutination-inhibiting (HI) antibodies against LPAIV were then detected in the ELISA-positive sera using H3N8, H5N2 and H9N7 subtype-specific antigens. Also, antibodies to NDV were detected and quantified in the sera using HI test. Results: Seroprevalence of NDV antibodies from tested quail sera was 12.9% (13/101), while AI was 18.8% (19/101) with detection of anti-LPAIV H3N8, H5N2 and H9N7 antibodies. The laughing dove serum was positive for NDV and anti-LPAIV H9N7 antibodies while all sera from village weavers had no detectable LPAIV antibodies, but 26.7% (8/30) were positive for NDV antibodies. Conclusions: This study provides serologic evidence of infection with LPAIV H3N8, H5N2 and H9N7 as well as Newcastle disease in domestic and peri-domestic birds in southwest Nigeria and highlights the potential role of these birds in the epidemiology of AI and ND.