During 2015, duck farms (n ¼ 27) in Sharkia Province, Egypt, experienced several disease outbreaks leading to mortality and nervous manifestations. Upon necropsy, the affected ducklings showed liver lesions, such as hemorrhage or necrosis, suggestive of duck virus hepatitis (DVH). Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), on the basis of the 3D gene, found duck livers from 21 farms to be positive for duck hepatitis A virus serotype 1 (DHAV-1). All duck breeds (Pekin, Mallard, and Muscovy) were infected. The virus was isolated in embryonated chicken eggs, which showed embryonic mortality (40%-80%) within 5-7 days, stunting or dwarfing (69.6%), and necrotic liver foci (60.9%). The VP1 gene of 11 DHAV-1 strains was characterized by RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing. All study strains were clustered in a monophyletic branch within subclade B2 of Group 4 and were separated from the Egyptian vaccine strain. Several amino acid (aa) residues, such as V129, S142 (only in four strains), L181, G184, and K217, were related to virus attenuation. However, two aa residues (N193 and E205), found in virulent DHAV-1 strains, were also observed in our strains. This study confirms the circulation of DHAV-1 (subclade B2) in Lower Egypt and elucidates the phylogenetic characters of the VP1 genes, which will be useful in following the local trends of DHAV-1 infections. Further studies are indicated to determine the correlation between these mutations and the virulence of the Egyptian DHAV-1 isolates.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article