Evolution and Adaptation of Avian Viruses

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 988

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health (MAPS), University of Padua, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
Interests: avian viruses; molecular epidemiology; phylogenetics; phylodynamics; statistics; molecular diagnosis; vaccination
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padova, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
Interests: molecular epidemiology; infectious bronchitis virus; infectious bursal disease virus; vaccination; phylogenetics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The poultry industry is one of the leading sectors in animal production. It represents a significant source of profit in many high-income countries and a means of poverty alleviation through income generation and household food security in several rural communities. Poultry meat and eggs are also considered to be relatively affordable and more environmentally sustainable sources of high-quality protein compared to other livestock products. However, the profitability and efficiency of poultry farming are continually challenged by infectious diseases, which negatively impact animal productivity, welfare, and health. Rapidly evolving viruses pose a major threat due to their capability to adapt to new environmental conditions and farming systems and strategies.

Host jumps, vaccine escape, increased virulence, and diagnostic failures are just a few examples of how viral evolution can negatively impact animal production, both directly—by increasing animal losses and decreasing productivity—and indirectly—by increasing costs related to farm management, control strategies, and treatments. The need for more frequent antimicrobial treatment, which increases the risk of antimicrobial resistance emergence, cannot be neglected either.

Based on these premises, this Special Issue, titled “Evolution and Adaptation of Avian Viruses”, invites the submission of original research papers and reviews focused on avian virus epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, genetics, phylogenetics, evolution, virus–host interaction, interspecies transmission, diagnostics, treatment, vaccination, and control strategies. Experimental studies dealing with the molecular determinants and effects of evolution are also welcome. Under the One Health paradigm, collaboration between human health, animal health, environmental health, and food safety fields is particularly encouraged.

We look forward to receiving your submissions for this Special Issue.

Dr. Giovanni Franzo
Dr. Matteo Legnardi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • virus
  • poultry
  • evolution
  • genetics
  • diagnosis
  • host
  • epidemiology
  • control
  • vaccine

Published Papers (1 paper)

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17 pages, 8724 KiB  
The Effect of Global Spread, Epidemiology, and Control Strategies on the Evolution of the GI-19 Lineage of Infectious Bronchitis Virus
by Giovanni Franzo, Giulia Faustini, Claudia Maria Tucciarone, Francesca Poletto, Francesca Tonellato, Mattia Cecchinato and Matteo Legnardi
Viruses 2024, 16(3), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16030481 - 20 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 825
The GI-19 lineage of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) has emerged as one of the most impactful, particularly in the “Old World”. Originating in China several decades ago, it has consistently spread and evolved, often forming independent clades in various areas and countries, each [...] Read more.
The GI-19 lineage of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) has emerged as one of the most impactful, particularly in the “Old World”. Originating in China several decades ago, it has consistently spread and evolved, often forming independent clades in various areas and countries, each with distinct production systems and control strategies. This study leverages this scenario to explore how different environments may influence virus evolution. Through the analysis of the complete S1 sequence, four datasets were identified, comprising strains of monophyletic clades circulating in different continents or countries (e.g., Asia vs. Europe and China vs. Thailand), indicative of single introduction events and independent evolution. The population dynamics and evolutionary rate variation over time, as well as the presence and intensity of selective pressures, were estimated and compared across these datasets. Since the lineage origin (approximately in the mid-20th century), a more persistent and stable viral population was estimated in Asia and China, while in Europe and Thailand, a sharp increase following the introduction (i.e., 2005 and 2007, respectively) of GI-19 was observed, succeeded by a rapid decline. Although a greater number of sites on the S1 subunit were under diversifying selection in the Asian and Chinese datasets, more focused and stronger pressures were evident in both the European (positions 2, 52, 54, 222, and 379 and Thai (i.e., positions 10, 12, 32, 56, 62, 64, 65, 78, 95, 96, 119, 128, 140, 182, 292, 304, 320, and 323) strains, likely reflecting a more intense and uniform application of vaccines in these regions. This evidence, along with the analysis of control strategies implemented in different areas, suggests a strong link between effective, systematic vaccine implementation and infection control. However, while the overall evolutionary rate was estimated at approximately 10−3 to 10−4, a significant inverse correlation was found between viral population size and the rate of viral evolution over time. Therefore, despite the stronger selective pressure imposed by vaccination, effectively constraining the former through adequate control strategies can efficiently prevent viral evolution and the emergence of vaccine-escaping variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Adaptation of Avian Viruses)
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