Eight poultry farms in Nigeria, including chickens from nine breeder, 14 broiler, 28 pullet, 11 layer, and three cockerel flocks, were tested for antibody seroprevalence to the following poultry viruses of potential economic importance: infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), avian reovirus, avian pneumovirus (APV), infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV), avian influenza virus (AIV), and avian leukosis virus (ALV). Serum samples were collected between 1999 and 2004 and were tested for antibodies using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Seroprevalence was very high for IBV (84%); intermediate for reovirus (41%), APV (40%), and ILTV (20%); and very low for ALV (<5%) antibodies. By commercial ELISA, the seroprevalence of antibodies against AIV was, in some flocks, up to 63%. However, more specific assays did not confirm AIV antibodies, indicating that all flocks tested were free of avian influenza antibodies. Birds seemed to be first infected by IBV (at about 7 wk of age), then by reovirus at 12 wk, before they became infected by APV (week 25) and ILTV (week 30). This is the first report of serological evidence of the above viruses in West Africa. Further studies are necessary to assess economic losses due to these avian viruses and the costs and benefits of countermeasures.
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Vol. 50 • No. 2