Variants of the recently discovered avian gyrovirus 2 are detected in Southern Brazil and The Netherlands

H.F. dos Santos, M.B. Knak, F.L. de Castro, J. Slongo, G.A. Ritterbusch, T.A.P. Klein, P.A. Esteves, A. Da Silva, I.M. Trevisol, E.A.W. Claassen, A.H.M. Cornelissen, M. Lovato, A.C. Franco, P.M. Roehe, F.A.M. Rijsewijk

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A genome of a virus preliminarily named avian gyrovirus 2 (AGV2), a close relative to chicken anemia virus, was recently discovered in a chicken in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil. To study the occurrence of AGV2 in Rio Grande do Sul and the neighboring state Santa Catarina, a number of adult chickens (n = 108 and n = 48, respectively) were tested for the presence of AGV2 DNA. An AGV2-specific PCR was developed, optimized and used to analyze DNA extracted from clinical samples. AGV2 DNA was detected in 98/108 (90.7%) of samples collected in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and 29/48 (60.4%) of the samples collected in the state of Santa Catarina. In order to check whether AGV2 DNA would be detected in samples from a geographically distant region, DNA from brain samples of 21 diseased chickens from the Netherlands were tested independently, by the same method. In such specimens, 9/21 (42.9%) brain tissue samples were found to contain AVG2 DNA. Sequence analysis of some of the PCR products demonstrated that the amplified AGV2 sequences could vary up to 15.8% and could preliminarily be divided in three groups. This indicated the occurrence of variants of AGV2, which may reflect differences in geographical origin and/or in biological properties. The data presented here provides evidence that AGV2 seems fairly distributed in chickens in Southern Brazil and that AGV2 also circulates in the Netherlands. Besides, circulating viruses display genetic variants whose significance should be further examined, particularly to determine whether AGV2 would play any role in chicken diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-236
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • chicken anemia virus
  • sequence alignment
  • disease virus
  • feathers
  • dna


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