Avian Metapneumoviruses, also referred to as Avian Rhinotracheitis Virus, cause a variety of disease syndromes, depending on the bird species and virus type (types A, B, C, and D). Infections with type A and B viruses cause Swollen Head Syndrome, an upper respiratory disease of chickens.
Diagnosis of metapneumoviruses in both turkeys and chickens is usually based on one of two ways:
- Detection of specific antibodies by ELISA in nonvaccinated birds with a recent history of respiratory disease.
- Detection of avian metapneumovirus genomic sequences by molecular tests such as RT-PCR in acute respiratory disease cases.