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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Control and Prevent Enteric Viral Diseases of Poultry

Location: Endemic Poultry Viral Diseases Research Unit

Title: Diagnostics and intervention strategies for the control and prevention of viral enteric diseases in poultry

Author
item Day, James

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Recent enteric virus surveys carried out by our laboratory have revealed the presence of multiple viruses in the intestines of turkeys and chickens in the United States. Complicating the picture considerably is the fact that many of the viruses implicated in enteric disease syndromes are routinely detected in otherwise healthy birds. Despite decades of research into the roles individual viruses play in poultry enteric disease, mitigation of disease largely consists of after-the-fact measures to stop the spread of disease. Preventative intervention strategies such as commercial vaccines targeting the known poultry enteric viruses simply do not exist. Recent efforts in our laboratory to discover and characterize novel, undescribed viruses in the poultry gut have been very successful, suggesting that our knowledge of the poultry gut virus community is incomplete. Some newly described poultry enteric viruses in turkeys are largely uncharacterized and may be present in some United States geographic regions and not others. Plus, there may be unique and varied geographical isolates of novel viruses circulating in poultry flocks as well.

Technical Abstract: Recent enteric virus surveys have revealed the presence of multiple viruses in turkeys and chickens in the United States, often in samples obtained from the same flock or bird. Complicating the picture considerably is the fact that many of the viruses implicated in enteric disease syndromes are routinely detected in otherwise healthy birds. Further, although laboratory-isolated enteric viruses do cause enteric disease signs in experimental birds, they generally fail to reproduce the complete disease syndromes observed in the field. Despite decades of research into the roles individual viruses play in poultry enteric disease, mitigation of disease largely consists of after-the-fact alterations to management techniques and biosecurity protocols, use of antimicrobials to control secondary bacterial infections, and post-flock disinfecting of facilities. Commercial vaccines targeting the known poultry enteric viruses simply do not exist, although some limited work has been completed investigating the efficacy of reovirus vaccines originally developed to control tenosynovitis in chickens against enteric virus challenge, and a subunit vaccine based upon the chicken astrovirus capsid protein has shown some promise in modulating the severity of runting-stunting syndrome in broiler chickens. Recent efforts in our laboratory to discover and characterize novel, undescribed viruses in the poultry gut have been very successful, suggesting that our knowledge of the poultry gut virus community is incomplete. Some newly described poultry enteric viruses such as parvovirus, calicivirus, and picornavirus in chickens and turkeys, and picobirnavirus, calicivirus, and picornavirus in turkeys are largely uncharacterized and may be present in some United States geographic regions and not others. Plus, there may be unique and varied genotypes, pathotypes and geographical isolates of novel viruses circulating in poultry flocks as well.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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