|Brown, Justin -|
|Allison, Andrew -|
|Keel, M Kevin -|
Submitted to: United States Animal Health Association Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 4, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Previously, retroviral neoplasms reported in wild upland game birds in the United States of America have typically been associated with reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) infection. The information presented herein described the first reports of lymphoproliferative disease virus (LPDV) infection in wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) and the first identification of LPDV in North America. Since 2009, LPDV has been identified in eight wild turkeys from four southeastern states; West Virginia (n=5), North Carolina (n=1), Georgia (n=1), and Arkansas (n=1). Systemic lymphoproliferative disease was determined to be the cause of morbidity and/or mortality in five of the eight turkeys. The remaining three turkeys had other primary causes of disease and it is currently not known whether LPDV infection in these birds contributed to the observed disease syndromes or if infection was silent. Gross lesions were variable and nonspecific; however, the observed microscopic lesions were consistent with LPDV infection in domestic turkeys. Proviral sequences of LPDV were detected in samples of spleen, lung, heart, and/or liver from each turkey by PCR using primers developed based on an Israeli strain of LPDV, which amplified a 413nt portion of the gag gene. The maximum likelihood phylogeny of these North American viruses demonstrated that they formed a monophyletic clade with Old World LPDV, distinct from other avian retroviruses, such as REV. Additional studies are currently underway to genetically characterize these wild turkey LPDV strains, determine the in vitro and in vivo host range, and develop rapid diagnostic assays.