Metagenomic detection and characterisation of multiple viruses in apparently healthy Australian Neophema birds
journal contributionposted on 10.11.2021, 05:45 authored by Subir SarkerSubir Sarker
Emerging viral pathogens are a significant concern, with potential consequences for human, animal and environmental health. Over the past several decades, many novel viruses have been found in animals, including birds, and often pose a significant threat to vulnerable species. However, despite enormous interest in virus research, little is known about virus communities (viromes) in Australian Neophema birds. Therefore, this study was designed to characterise the viromes of Neophema birds and track the evolutionary relationships of recently emerging psittacine siadenovirus F (PsSiAdV-F) circulating in the critically endangered, orange-bellied parrot (OBP, Neophema chrysogaster), using a viral metagenomic approach. This study identified 16 viruses belonging to the families Adenoviridae, Circoviridae, Endornaviridae, Picobirnaviridae and Picornaviridae. In addition, this study demonstrated a potential evolutionary relationship of a PsSiAdV-F sequenced previously from the critically endangered OBP. Strikingly, five adenoviral contigs identified in this study show the highest identities with human adenovirus 2 and human mastadenovirus C. This highlights an important and unexpected aspects of the avian virome and warrants further studies dedicated to this subject. Finally, the findings of this study emphasise the importance of testing birds used for trade or in experimental settings for potential pathogens to prevent the spread of infections.