Phylogenetic analyses indicate little variation among reticuloendotheliosis viruses infecting avian species, including the endangered Attwater's prairie chicken. Academic Article uri icon


  • Reticuloendotheliosis virus infection, which typically causes systemic lymphomas and high mortality in the endangered Attwater's prairie chicken, has been described as a major obstacle in repopulation efforts of captive breeding facilities in Texas. Although antigenic relationships among reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) strains have been previously determined, phylogenetic relationships have not been reported. The pol and env of REV proviral DNA from prairie chickens (PC-R92 and PC-2404), from poxvirus lesions in domestic chickens, the prototype poultry derived REV-A and chick syncytial virus (CSV), and duck derived spleen necrosis virus (SNV) were PCR amplified and sequenced. The 5032bp, that included the pol and most of env genes, of the PC-R92 and REV-A were 98% identical, and nucleotide sequence identities of smaller regions within the pol and env from REV strains examined ranged from 95 to 99% and 93 to 99%, respectively. The putative amino acid sequences were 97-99% identical in the polymerase and 90-98% in the envelope. Phylogenetic analyses of the nucleotide and amino acid sequences indicated the closest relationship among the recent fowl pox-associated chicken isolates, the prairie chicken isolates and the prototype CSV while only the SNV appeared to be distinctly divergent. While the origin of the naturally occurring viruses is not known, the avian poxvirus may be a critical component of transmission of these ubiquitous oncogenic viruses.

published proceedings

  • Virus Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Bohls, R. L., Linares, J. A., Gross, S. L., Ferro, P. J., Silvy, N. J., & Collisson, E. W.

citation count

  • 55

complete list of authors

  • Bohls, Ryan L||Linares, Jose A||Gross, Shannon L||Ferro, Pam J||Silvy, Nova J||Collisson, Ellen W

publication date

  • August 2006