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What is new on molecular characteristics of Avian metapneumovirus strains circulating in Europe?
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  • Giulia Mescolini,
  • Caterina Lupini,
  • Giovanni Franzo,
  • Giulia Quaglia,
  • Matteo Legnardi,
  • Mattia Cecchinato,
  • Claudia Tucciarone,
  • Angela Blanco,
  • Vincent Turblin,
  • Mar Biarnés Suñé,
  • Fabrizio Tatone,
  • Marco Falchieri,
  • Elena Catelli
Giulia Mescolini
University of Bologna

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Caterina Lupini
University of Bologna
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Giovanni Franzo
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Giulia Quaglia
University of Bologna
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Matteo Legnardi
Universita degli Studi di Padova - Campus di Agripolis
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Mattia Cecchinato
university of Padova
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Claudia Tucciarone
Universita degli Studi di Padova - Campus di Agripolis
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Angela Blanco
CESAC - Centre de Sanitat Avícola de Catalunya i Aragó
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Vincent Turblin
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Mar Biarnés Suñé
CESAC - Centre de Sanitat Avícola de Catalunya i Aragó
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Fabrizio Tatone
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Marco Falchieri
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Elena Catelli
University of Bologna
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In the present study one hundred and sixteen partial G gene sequences of Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) subtype B, obtained during routine diagnostics in different European Countries in the last few years (2014-2019), were analysed by sequence and phylogenetic analyses in order to draw an updated picture of the molecular characteristics of circulating strains. Nucleotide sequences were compared with other sequences of European and extra-European aMPV-Bs collected prior to that period or retrieved from GenBank. Phylogenetic relationships among the aMPV-B strains, reconstructed using the Maximum Likelihood method implemented in MEGA X, demonstrated that aMPV-B has evolved in Europe from its first appearance, frequently displaying a clear relation with the geographic area of detection. The 40% of aMPV-B viruses analysed were classified as vaccine-derived strains, being phylogenetically related, and showing high nucleotide identity with live commercial vaccine strains licensed in Europe. The remaining 60% were classified as field strains since they clustered separately and showed a low nucleotide identity with vaccines and vaccine-derived strains. The phylogenetic tree showed that the virus has continued to evolve from its first appearance in the ’80s since more recently detected strains belonged to clades phylogenetically distant from the older strains. Unlike vaccine-derived strains, field strains tended to cluster according to their geographic origin and irrespective of the host species where the viruses had been detected. In conclusion, the molecular characterization of aMPV-B and the differentiation between vaccines and field strains through G gene sequence analysis can be a useful tool towards correct diagnosis and should be routinely applied in order to better address the control strategies.
18 May 2020Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
19 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
19 May 2020Assigned to Editor
25 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
01 Jul 20201st Revision Received
02 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
02 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed
02 Jul 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
31 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Aug 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
10 Aug 20202nd Revision Received
10 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
10 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
10 Aug 2020Editorial Decision: Accept
May 2021Published in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases volume 68 issue 3 on pages 1314-1322. 10.1111/tbed.13788