Pigeon paramyxovirus type 1 (PPMV-1) infection causes high morbidity in pigeons, resulting in a significant burden to the poultry industry. In this study, we isolated three PPMV-1 strains from diseased pigeons collected in Guangdong Province, South China, from June 2017 to April 2019. Genetic analysis revealed that these three PPMV-1 strains and most of the PPMV-1 strains isolated from China after 2011 were clustered into sub-genotype VI.220.127.116.11.2. Our Bayesian analysis revealed that the VI.18.104.22.168.2 viruses might have originated in Europe. Phylogeographic analyses revealed that East and South China might have played a key role in seeding the VI.22.214.171.124.2 PPMV-1 epidemic in China. To characterize the effect of age at infection on the outcome of PPMV-1 infection in pigeons, we investigated the pathogenesis and transmission of the pigeon/Guangdong/GZ08/2017 (GZ08) virus in 3-, 6-, and 12-week-old pigeons. Two of six 12-week-old pigeons inoculated with GZ08 survived, and all of the 3- and 6-week-pigeons inoculated with GZ08 died. Moreover, the GZ08 virus could be transmitted to 3-, 6-, and 12-week-old naïve contact pigeons. The lethality of the GZ08 virus through contact with 3-, 6-, and 12-week-old pigeons was 100%, 66.7%, and 0%, respectively, suggesting that the transmissibility of the GZ08 virus was stronger in young pigeons. These findings demonstrated that East and South China was the epicenter for dissemination of VI.126.96.36.199.2 PPMV-1, and age at infection has an impact on the outcome of PPMV-1 infection in pigeons.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited