High Virus Titer in Feather Pulp of Chickens Infected with Subgroup J Avian Leukosis Virus
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Subgroup J avian leukosis viruses (ALVs), which are a recombinant virus between exogenous and endogenous ALVs, can spread by either vertical or horizontal transmission. Exogenous and endogenous ALVs can be detected in feather pulp. In this study, virus titers in feather pulp of chickens infected with subgroup J ALV were compared with those of plasma and cloacal swab. All of the broiler chickens inoculated with subgroup J ALV at 1 day old were positive for virus from feather pulp during the experimental period of between 2 wk and 8 wk of age. Virus titers in feather pulp of some broiler chickens infected with subgroup J ALV were very high, ranging from 10(7) to 10(8) infective units per 0.2 ml. Virus titers in feather pulp were usually the highest among the samples of plasma, cloacal swab, and feather pulp tested. In another experiment in which layer chickens were inoculated with subgroup J ALV at 1 day old, virus was detected in feather pulp from 2 wk until 18 wk of age, and virus persisted longer in feather pulp than in plasma. Almost all of the layer chickens tested were positive for virus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with DNA extracted from feather pulp samples at 2, 4, and 10 wk of age, and the PCR from feather pulp was more sensitive than virus isolation from plasma, cloacal swab, and feather pulp. All above results indicate that samples of feather pulp can be useful for virus isolation and PCR to confirm subgroup J ALV infection.
author list (cited authors)
Sung, H. W., Reddy, S. M., & Fadly, A. M.