The recent emergence of avian pneumovirus (APV) infection among US turkey flocks has resulted in a major economic threat to the turkey industry. In order to elucidate the molecular epidemiology of APV, comparative sequence analysis of the fusion (F) protein gene of APV was performed for 3 cell culture-adapted isolates and 10 APV positive clinical samples recovered from US turkey flocks. Relatively modest levels of nucleotide and amino acid sequence divergence were identified, suggesting the prevalence of a single lineage of APV among US turkey flocks. Additionally, numerous polymorphisms were identified that were only represented in the clinical samples but not in the in vitro propagated isolates of APV. Phylogenetic analyses confirm that the subtype of APV circulating in the upper Midwestern United States is evolutionarily related to, but distinct from, European APV subgroups A and B. Overall, the results of the present investigation suggest that there has been only a single recent introduction of APV into US turkey populations in the upper Midwestern United States.
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