Natural Infections With Pigeon Paramyxovirus Serotype 1: Pathologic Changes in Eurasian Collared-Doves ( Streptopelia Decaocto) and Rock Pigeons ( Columba Livia) in the United States

Vet Pathol. 2017 Jul;54(4):695-703. doi: 10.1177/0300985817695782. Epub 2017 Apr 6.


Pigeon paramyxovirus serotype 1 (PPMV-1) is a globally distributed, virulent member of the avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 serogroup that causes mortality in columbiformes and poultry. Following introduction into the United States in the mid-1980s, PPMV-1 rapidly spread causing numerous mortality events in Eurasian collared-doves ( Streptopelia decaocto) (ECDOs) and rock pigeons ( Columba livia) (ROPIs). The investigators reviewed pathological findings of 70 naturally infected, free-ranging columbiforms from 25 different mortality events in the United States. Immunohistochemistry targeting PPMV-1 nucleoprotein was used to determine the tissue distribution of the virus in a subset of 17 birds from 10 of the studied outbreaks. ECDOs (61 birds) and ROPIs (9 birds) were the only species in which PPMV-1-associated disease was confirmed by viral isolation and presence of histologic lesions. Acute to subacute tubulointerstitial nephritis and necrotizing pancreatitis were the most frequent histologic lesions, with immunolabeling of viral antigen in renal tubular epithelial cells and pancreatic acinar epithelium. Lymphoid depletion of bursa of Fabricius and spleen was common, but the presence of viral antigen in these organs was inconsistent among infected birds. Hepatocellular necrosis was occasionally present with immunolabeling of hypertrophic Kupffer cells, and immunopositive eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were present in hepatocytes of 1 ECDO. Immunopositive lymphocytic choroiditis was present in 1 ECDO, while lymphocytic meningoencephalitis was frequent in ROPIs in absence of immunolabeling. This study demonstrates widespread presence of PPMV-1 antigen in association with histologic lesions, confirming the lethal potential of this virus in these particular bird species.

Keywords: Eurasian collared-dove; Newcastle disease virus; avian paramyxovirus serotype 1; histopathology; immunohistochemistry; pathogenesis; pigeon paramyxovirus serotype 1; rock pigeon.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / virology
  • Bursa of Fabricius / pathology
  • Bursa of Fabricius / virology
  • Columbidae / virology*
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / pathology
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / veterinary
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / virology
  • Newcastle Disease / epidemiology
  • Newcastle Disease / pathology
  • Newcastle Disease / virology*
  • Newcastle disease virus* / isolation & purification
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Spleen / virology
  • United States / epidemiology