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International Journal of Morphology

versão On-line ISSN 0717-9502


CATROXO, M. H. B et al. Viral Research in Brazilian Owls (Tyto alba and Rhinoptynx clamator) by Transmission Electron Microscopy. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.2, pp.627-636. ISSN 0717-9502.

The barn-owl (Tyto Alba) and striped-owl (Rhinoptynx clamator) belong respectively to the families Tytonidae and Strigidae. Avian paramyxoviruses have been isolated from a variety of species of wild and domestic birds wordlwide causing diverse clinical symptoms and signs. Paramyxoviruses belong to the family Paramyxoviridae and Avulovirus genus, including nine serotypes (APMV 1 to 9). The lymphoid leukosis is a retrovirus-induced neoplasia. The avian retroviruses belong to the Retroviridae family and to the Alpharetrovirus genus. Coronaviruses can cause respiratory and enteric disease in several species of birds. They belong to the Coronaviridae family and to the groups 3a e 3c. In this study, we describe the presence of viruses in four owls, two barn owls (Tyto alba) and two striped owls (Rhinoptynx clamator), rescued from tree-lined streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil and sent to the Recovery Center of Wild Animals of the Tietê Ecological Park, where the animals died. Fragments of lung, liver and small intestine of these birds were processed for transmission electron microscopy utilizing negative staining (rapid preparation), immunoelectron microscopy and immunocitochemistry techniques. Under the transmission electron microscopy paramyxovirus particles, pleomorphic, roughly spherical or filamentous, measuring 100 to 500 nm of diameter containing an envelope covered by spikes, an herring-bone helical nucleocapsid-like structure, measuring 15 to 20 nm in diameter, were visualized in the samples of lung, liver and small intestine of all owls. In small intestine samples of the two striped-owl (owls 3 and 4) it was detected pleomorphic coronavirus particles with a diameter of 75-160 nm containing a solar corona-shaped envelope, with projections of approximately 20 nm of diameter. In liver fragments of one striped-owl (owl 4) pleomorphic particles of retrovirus with a diameter of 80-145 nm containing an envelope with short projections and diameter of 9 nm were observed. The presence of aggregates formed by antigen-antibody interaction, characterized the positive result obtained during the immunoelectron microscopy technique for paramyxovirus, retrovirus and coronavirus. In the immunocytochemistry technique, the antigen-antibody interaction was strongly enhanced by the dense colloidal gold particles over these viruses.

Palavras-chave : Paramyxovirus; Coronavirus; Retrovirus; Owls; Transmission electron microscopy.

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