Submitted to: American Association of Avian Pathologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 30, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Recent metagenomic analyses of the turkey gut ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus community in our laboratory have identified novel enteric RNA viruses that may play roles in the poultry enteric diseases and in performance problems noted in the field. This has lead to new molecular diagnostic assays for certain viruses. As a first step in the characterization of these novel enteric viruses, a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) based diagnostic test was developed targeting the turkey-origin picobirnavirus present in a pooled turkey gut sample from North Carolina. Little detailed molecular information exists regarding the Picobirnaviridae family, and the picobirnaviruses are almost completely un-described in avian species. The novel molecular diagnostic test targets the turkey picobirnavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene and produces an 1135 base pair amplicon. This RT-PCR test was validated using in vitro transcribed RNA and numerous archived enteric samples collected from turkey flocks in the southeastern United States. To date, numerous samples collected from different regions of the United States have tested positive for this novel picobirnavirus. This geographic data will be presented along with phylogenetic data placing turkey picobirnavirus among the existing picobirnavirus sequences in the databases.