Quantitative Analysis of Waterfowl Parvoviruses in Geese and Muscovy Ducks

Researchers in Poland have developed a real-time polymerase chain reaction method for the detection of parvoviruses in geese and Muscovy ducks, even in young birds before symptoms were observed.
calendar icon 8 April 2012
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Waterfowl parvoviruses cause serious loss in geese and ducks production, according to Grzegorz Wozniakowski and co-authors at Poland’s National Veterinary Research Institute in Pulawy. In their paper published recently in BMC Veterinary Research, they explain that goose parvovirus (GPV) is infectious for geese and ducks while Muscovy duck parvovirus (MDPV) infects only Muscovy ducks. So far, for these viruses, sensitive detection polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) have been applied. However, the researchers report that there has been no molecular biological method for both waterfowl parvoviruses detection and quantification which could unify the laboratory procedures.

The level of GPV and MDPV replication and distribution plays a significant role in the parvoviral infection progress and is strictly correlated to clinical symptoms. Experiments conducted previously on GPV distribution in geese, performed as animal trials, did not involve epidemiological data from the disease field cases.

The Pulawy researchers continue that an investigation of the correlation between age, clinical symptoms and viral DNA copy number may benefit understanding the GPV and MDPV infection. Such data may also aid in determination of the stage and severity of the infection with parvoviruses. Therefore, the aim of their study was to develop quantitative real-time PCR for parallel detection of GPV and MDPV in geese and Muscovy ducks and to determine the correlation between the age of the infected birds, clinical symptoms and DNA copy number for the estimation of the disease stage or severity.

In order to develop quantitative real-time PCR, viral material was collected from geese on 13 farms and from Muscovy ducks on three farms. The designed primers and Taqman probe for real-time PCR were complementary to GPV and MDPV inverted terminal repeats region. The pITR plasmid was constructed, purified and used to prepare dilutions for standard curve preparation and DNA quantification. The method detected both GPV and MDPV in all the examined samples extracted from the heart and liver of the infected birds.

Correlation tests showed relationships between age, clinical symptoms during parvoviral infection and the DNA copy number of these pathogens. The method allowed for a sensitive detection of GPV and MDPV even in one–week–old goslings or two–week old ducklings before symptoms were observed.

Wozniakowski and co-authors concluded that their method was a valuable tool for the standardisation of laboratory procedures and both parvoviruses parallel detection and quantification. The analysis revealed significant correlation between the age of the infected birds, the clinical symptoms and DNA copy number of GPV and MDPV in the examined organs.

The data may aid understanding of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of Derzsy’s disease and 3-w disease as well as estimation of the infection’s severity and stage of the disease, the Pulawy group added.


Wozniakowski G., E. Samorek–Salamonowicz and W. Kozdrun. 2012. Quantitative analysis of waterfowl parvoviruses in geese and Muscovy ducks by real-time polymerase chain reaction: correlation between age, clinical symptoms and DNA copy number of waterfowl parvoviruses. BMC Veterinary Research, 8:29. doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-29

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (as a provisional PDF) by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on goose parovirus by clicking here.

April 2012
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