Bornaviruses (family Bornaviridae) are non-segmented negative-strand RNA viruses. Avian bornaviruses (ABVs), which are causative agents of proventricular dilatation disease, are a genetically diverse group with at least 15 genotypes, including parrot bornaviruses (PaBVs) and aquatic bird bornavirus 1(ABBV-1). Borna disease virus 1(BoDV-1), which infects mammals and causes neurological diseases, has also been reported to infect avian species, although the numbers of the cases have been markedly fewer than those of ABVs. In this study, we conducted genetic surveillance to detect ABVs (PaBV-1 to -5 and ABBV-1) and BoDV-1 in wild birds in Japan. A total of 2078 fecal or cloacal swab samples were collected from wild birds in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2011, in two regions of Japan. The results demonstrated the presence of PaBV-2 and -4 RNA, while no positive results for other PaBVs, ABBV-1, and BoDV-1 were obtained. PaBV-2 and -4 RNA were detected in 18 samples (0.9 %) of the genera Anas, Grus, Larus, Calidris, Haliaeetus, and Emberiza, in which either PaBV-2 RNA or PaBV-4 RNA, or both PaBV-2 and -4 RNA were detected in 15 (0.7 %), 5 (0.2 %), and 2 (0.1 %) samples, respectively. The nucleotide sequences of PaBV-2 and -4 detected in these samples from wild birds are phylogenetically close to those found in samples from pet birds in Japan, with identities ranging from 99.8 to 100 % and from 98.2 to 99.4 %, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the detection of PaBV-2 and -4 RNA detected in samples from wild birds.
Keywords: Avian bornavirus; Neurological disorder; PDD; Wild bird.