Sera from 324 birds collected in an Ockelbo virus disease endemic area in central Sweden were examined for the presence of specific antibodies to Ockelbo virus by a plaque reduction neutralization test. Birds examined belonged to the orders Anseriformes (n = 207), Galliformes (n = 66) and Passeriformes (n = 51). Ockelbo virus neutralizing antibodies were detected in 26 (8%) of the specimens, including species from each of the three orders tested. Specific antibodies found in caged birds and in 6- to 10-week-old birds suggested local transmission. The highest antibody prevalence (27%, 14/51) was observed in the Passeriformes in which 5 of 9 species tested contained antibodies. The high antibody prevalence in passeriforms and the very large population of this group in relation to other avian groups in Sweden gives them a high potential as amplification hosts for Ockelbo virus.
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Vol. 28 • No. 1