Detection of rotavirus VP7 gene in helmeted guinea fowls and Japanese quails in Ogun state, Nigeria
Rotaviruses classified into groups A through H are important etiological agents of gastroenteritis in man and animal. In Nigeria vaccination of infants has continuously been carried out, however the disease is still a burden to the nation which remains one of the countries with the highest cases of rotavirus gastroenteritis. There are several evidence of interspecies cross transmission and reassortment among group A rotaviruses. However, few studies have focused on rotavirus in the avian species, thus the virus has only been reported in chickens from southwest Nigeria. Guinea fowls (Numidea meleagris) and Japanese quails (Coturnix corturnix japonica) serve as source of income to the rural house-hold where they are raised in backyards. A total of 100 fecal samples from Guinea fowls (50) and Japanese quails (50) from different locations in Ogun state were collected and analyzed using group A specific RT-PCR. Fecal samples were screened for rotavirus using VP7 primers. The virus was detected in pooled diarrheic fecal samples of both Guinea fowls and Japanese quails and also in non-diarrheic feces of Guinea fowls. Due to the close proximity at which different breeds of birds are raised in backyard poultry in Nigeria and the reassortment ability of the virus, there will continuously be an increase in the diversity of the virus. This is not leaving out a zoonotic transmission with subsequent contribution to vaccine failure in man. It is thus important to continually survey for the virus in man and animal. This study provides the first report of rotavirus in helmeted Guinea fowls and Japanese quails in Nigeria.
Keywords: Guinea fowl, Japanese quail, Feces, Detection, Rotavirus, VP7 gene