Sera from a total of 202 tortoises from six countries and nine species were tested for antibodies against four different reptilian paramyxoviruses (ferlaviruses, ferlaVs) by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test. The viruses used were a tortoise PMV (tPMV) and three squamatid PMV isolates, each belonging to a different subgroup of ferlaV within the genus Ferlavirus. HI tests revealed that antibodies against ferlaVs occurred regularly in the tested samples (5.5%). One and a half percent of the tested samples have measurable antibody titers against the group A isolate, 3% had antibodies against the group B isolate, and 1% had antibodies against the group C isolate. The significantly highest number of positive reactions was detected against the tortoise isolate (5%). Most of the animals that tested positive for one of the snake isolates also tested positive in HI assays with the tortoise isolate. Of the samples from different origins, the sera from Great Britain showed the highest percentage of positive tested animals (10.3%, n = 39), followed by those from Spain (10%, n = 10), while none of the samples from Madagascar or Italy scored positive. Since in most cases animals from one country came from the same collection, this does not represent the real prevalence of ferlaV in tortoises in these countries but rather indicates that ferlaVs occur in a number of different countries and tortoise species.
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