We surveyed the presence of herpesvirus, flavivirus, and coronavirus in 20 Magnificent Frigatebirds (Fregata magnificens) from the protected Alcatrazes Island, Alcatrazes archipelago, Brazil. One adult female was positive for herpesvirus (5% occurrence; 95% confidence interval –5.5 to 15.5), whereas none of the samples were PCR-positive for flavivirus or coronavirus. The obtained herpesvirus was highly similar to the one responsible for annual mortality of Magnificent Frigatebird chicks on Grand Connétable Island, French Guiana; however, no episodes of mass mortality have been recorded in the birds from Alcatrazes. Our findings indicate that this virus may be widespread in Magnificent Frigatebirds of the southwestern Atlantic. The observed differences in morbidity and mortality may be the result of basal immunosuppression of the birds from French Guiana related to environmental or nutritional conditions. The Alcatrazes archipelago sustains the largest frigatebird breeding colony of the southern Atlantic; future monitoring studies with larger sampling sizes are needed to further determine the epidemiologic relevance of the detected herpesviruses, as well as other viruses (e.g., flaviviruses, coronaviruses, avian influenza virus), in seabirds of Alcatrazes Island.

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