Seroprevalence of avian hepatitis E virus and avian leucosis virus subgroup J in chicken flocks with hepatitis syndrome, China.
ABSTRACT: From 2014 to 2015 in China, many broiler breeder and layer hen flocks exhibited a decrease in egg production and some chickens developed hepatitis syndrome including hepatomegaly, hepatic necrosis and hemorrhage. Avian hepatitis E virus (HEV) and avian leucosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) both cause decreasing in egg production, hepatomegaly and hepatic hemorrhage in broiler breeder and layer hens. In the study, the seroprevalence of avian HEV and ALV-J in these flocks emerging the disease from Shandong and Shaanxi provinces were investigated.A total of 1995 serum samples were collected from 14 flocks with hepatitis syndrome in Shandong and Shaanxi provinces, China. Antibodies against avian HEV and ALV-J in these serum samples were detected using iELISAs. The seroprevalence of anti-avian HEV antibodies (35.09%) was significantly higher than that of anti-ALV-J antibodies (2.16%) (p?=?0.00). Moreover, the 43 serum samples positive for anti-ALV-J antibodies were all also positive for anti-avian HEV antibodies. In a comparison of both provinces, Shandong chickens exhibited a significantly higher seroprevalence of anti-avian HEV antibodies (42.16%) than Shaanxi chickens (26%) (p?=?0.00). In addition, the detection of avian HEV RNA and ALV-J cDNA in the liver samples from the flocks of two provinces also showed the same results of the seroprevalence.In the present study, the results showed that avian HEV infection is widely prevalent and ALV-J infection is endemic in the flocks with hepatitis syndrome from Shandong and Shaanxi provinces of China. These results suggested that avian HEV infection may be the major cause of increased egg drop and hepatitis syndrome observed during the last 2 years in China. These results should be useful to guide development of prevention and control measures to control the diseases within chicken flocks in China.
Project description:Avian hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is common in chicken flocks in China, as currently no measures exist to prevent the spread of the disease. In this study, we analyzed the effect of caged versus cage-free housing arrangements on avian HEV transmission. First, 127 serum and 110 clinical fecal samples were collected from 4 chicken flocks including the two arrangements in Shaanxi Province, China and tested for HEV antibodies and/or virus. Concurrently, 36 specific-pathogen-free chickens were divided equally into four experimental living arrangement groups, designated cage-free (Inoculated), caged (Inoculated), cage-free (Negative) and caged (Negative) groups. In caged groups, three cages contained 3 chickens each. Three chickens each from cage-free (Inoculated) and caged (Inoculated) groups (one chicken of each cage) were inoculated by cutaneous ulnar vein with the same dose of avian HEV, respectively. The cage-free (Negative) and caged (Negative) groups served as negative control. Serum and fecal samples were collected at 1 to 7 weeks post-inoculation (wpi) and liver lesions were scored at 7 wpi.The results of serology showed that the avian HEV infection rate (54.10%) of the cage-free chickens was significantly higher than the one (12.12%) for caged chickens (P < 0.05). Also, the rate of detection of avian HEV RNA in the clinical fecal samples was significantly higher in the cage-free (22.80%, 13/57) than caged birds (5.66%, 3/53). Moreover, under experimental conditions, the infected number of uninoculated cage-free chickens (6) was significantly higher than the one for the uninoculated caged birds (2), as evidenced by seroconversion, fecal virus shedding, viremia and gross and microscopic liver lesions.These results suggest that reduction of contact with feces as seen in the caged arrangement of housing chickens can reduce avian HEV transmission. This study provides insights for prevention and control of avian HEV infection in chicken flocks.
Project description:Hens of a commercial Hy-line brown layer flock in China exhibited increased mortality and decreased egg production at 47 wk of age. From 47 to 57 wk, average weekly mortality increased from 0.11 to 3.0%, and egg production decreased from 10 to 30%, with a peak mortality rate (3.0%) observed at 54 wk of age. Necropsy of 11 birds demonstrated tissue damage that included hepatitis, liver hemorrhage, rupture, and/or enlarged livers. Microscopic liver lesions exhibited hepatocytic necrosis, lymphocytic periphlebitis, and myeloid leukosis. While no bacteria were recovered from liver and spleen samples, avian hepatitis E virus (HEV) RNA was detected in all 11 tested hens by nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Of these, subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) proviral DNA was detected in 5 hens by PCR. Alignments of partial ORF2 gene sequences obtained here demonstrated shared identity (76 to 97%) with corresponding sequences of other known avian HEV isolates. Env sequences of ALV-J isolates obtained here shared 50.1 to 55% identity with other ALV subgroups and 91.8 to 95.5% identity with other known ALV-J isolates. Phylogenetic tree analysis of selected sequences obtained here grouped an avian HEV sequence with genotype 3 HEV and assigned an ALV-J sequence to a branch separate from known ALV-J subgroups. Immunohistochemical results confirmed the presence of avian HEV and ALV-J in livers. Therefore, these results suggest that avian HEV and ALV-J co-infection caused the outbreak of hepatitis and liver hemorrhagic syndrome observed in the layer hen flock analyzed in this study.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is one of most important zoonotic viruses, and it can infect a wide range of host species. Avian HEV has been identified as the aetiological agent of big liver and spleen disease or hepatitis-splenomegaly syndrome in chickens. HEV infection is common among chicken flocks in China, and there are currently no practical measures for preventing the spread of the disease. The predominant avian HEV genotype circulating in China have been identified as genotype 3 strains, although some novel genotypes have also been identified from chicken flocks in China. RESULTS:In this study, we used a meta-transcriptomics approach to identify a new subtype of genotype 3 avian HEV in broiler chickens at a poultry farm located in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China. The complete genome sequence of the avian HEV, designated CaHEV-GDSZ01, is 6655-nt long, including a 5' UTR of 24?nt and a 3' UTR of 125?nt (excluding the poly(A) tail), and contains three open reading frames (ORFs). Sequence analysis indicated that the complete ORF1 (4599?nt/1532 aa), ORF2 (1821?nt/606 aa) and ORF3 (264?nt/87 aa) of CaHEV-GDSZ01 share the highest nucleotide sequence identity (85.8, 86.7 and 95.8%, respectively) with the corresponding ORFs of genotype 3 avian HEV. Phylogenetic analyses further demonstrated that the avian HEV identified in this study is a new subtype of genotype 3 avian HEV. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate that a new subtype of genotype 3 avian HEV is endemic in Guangdong, China, and could cause high mortality in infected chickens. This study also provides full genomic data for better understanding the evolutionary relationships of avian HEV circulating in China. Altogether, the results presented in this study suggest that more attention should be paid to avian HEV and its potential disease manifestation.
Project description:We recently identified and characterized a novel virus, designated avian hepatitis E virus (avian HEV), from chickens with hepatitis-splenomegaly syndrome (HS syndrome) in the United States. Avian HEV is genetically related to but distinct from human and swine HEVs. To determine the extent of genetic variation and the seroprevalence of avian HEV infection in chicken flocks, we genetically identified and characterized 11 additional avian HEV isolates from chickens with HS syndrome and assessed the prevalence of avian HEV antibodies from a total of 1,276 chickens of different ages and breeds from 76 different flocks in five states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Virginia, and Wisconsin). An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using a truncated recombinant avian HEV ORF2 antigen was developed and used to determine avian HEV seroprevalence. About 71% of chicken flocks and 30% of chickens tested in the study were positive for antibodies to avian HEV. About 17% of chickens younger than 18 weeks were seropositive, whereas about 36% of adult chickens were seropositive. By using a reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assay, we tested 21 bile samples from chickens with HS syndrome in California, Connecticut, New York, and Wisconsin for the presence of avian HEV RNA. Of the 21 bile samples, 12 were positive for 30- to 35-nm HEV-like virus particles by electron microscopy (EM). A total of 11 of the 12 EM-positive bile samples and 6 of the 9 EM-negative bile samples were positive for avian HEV RNA by RT-PCR. The sequences of a 372-bp region within the helicase gene of 11 avian HEV isolates were determined. Sequence analyses revealed that the 11 field isolates of avian HEV had 78 to 100% nucleotide sequence identities to each other, 79 to 88% identities to the prototype avian HEV, 76 to 80% identities to chicken big liver and spleen disease virus, and 56 to 61% identities to other known strains of human and swine HEV. The data from this study indicated that, like swine and human HEVs, avian HEV isolates are genetically heterogenic and that avian HEV infection is enzoonotic in chicken flocks in the United States.
Project description:Subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) was first isolated from meat-type chickens that developed myeloid leukosis (ML). In recent years, field cases of hemangioma (HE) or HE and ML, rather than ML alone, have been reported in commercial layer flocks exposed to ALV-J with a high incidence in China. Here we report the complete genomic sequence of an ALV-J isolate that caused both HE and ML in egg-type and meat-type chickens in China. These findings will provide additional insights into the molecular characteristics in genomes, host range, and pathogenicity of ALV-J.
Project description:Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) is an immunosuppressive virus that causes considerable economic losses to the chicken industry in China. However, there is currently no effective vaccine to prevent ALV-J infection. In order to reduce the losses caused by ALV-J, we constructed two effective ALV-J vaccines by inserting the ALV-J (strain JL093-1) env or gag+env genes into the US2 gene of the Marek's disease herpesviruses (MDV) by transfection of overlapping fosmid DNAs, creating two recombinant MDVs, rMDV/ALV-gag+env and rMDV/ALV-env. Analysis of cultured chicken embryo fibroblasts infected with the rMDVs revealed that Env and Gag were successfully expressed and that there was no difference in growth kinetics in cells infected with rMDVs compared with that of cells infected with the parent MDV. Chickens vaccinated with either rMDV revealed that positive serum antibodies were induced. Both rMDVs also effectively reduced the rate of positive viremia in chicken flocks challenged with ALV-J. The protective effect provided by rMDV/ALV-env inoculation was slightly stronger than that provided by rMDV/ALV-gag+env. This represents the first study where a potential rMDV vaccine, expressing ALV-J antigenic genes, has been shown to be effective in the prevention of ALV-J. Our study also opens new avenues for the control of MDV and ALV-J co-infection.
Project description:Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) was first isolated from meat-type chickens in 1988. No field cases of ALV-J infection or tumors in layer chickens were observed worldwide until 2004. However, layer flocks in China have experienced outbreaks of this virus in recent years. The molecular epidemiology of ALV-J strains isolated from layer flocks was investigated. The env genes of 77.8% (21/27) of the ALV-J layer isolates with a high degree of genetic variation were significantly different from the env genes of the prototype strain of ALV-J (HPRS-103) and American and Chinese strains from meat-type chickens (designated ALV-J broiler isolates). A total of 205 nucleotides were deleted from the 3' untranslated region of 89.5% (17/19) of the ALV-J layer isolates. Approximately 94.7% (16/17) of the layer isolates contained a complete E element of 146 to 149 residues. The U3 sequences of 84.2% (16/19) of the ALV-J layer isolates displayed less than 92.5% sequence homology to those of the ALV-J broiler isolates, although the transcriptional regulatory elements that are typical of avian retroviruses were highly conserved. Several unique nucleotide substitutions in the env gene, the U3 region, and the E element of most of the ALV-J layer isolates were detected. These results suggested that the env gene, E element, and U3 region in the ALV-J layer isolates have evolved rapidly and were significantly different from those of the ALV-J broiler isolates. These findings will contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of layer tumor diseases induced by ALV-J.
Project description:Avian hepatitis E virus (HEV) has been identified in chickens; however, only 4 complete or near-complete genomic sequences have been reported. We found that the near-complete genomic sequence of avian HEV in chickens from China shared the highest identity (98.3%) with avian HEV from Europe and belonged to avian HEV genotype 3.
Project description:To survey avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) integration in myeloid leukosis (ML) of chicken, we developed an ALV-J insertional identification platform based on hybrid-capture target enrichment and next-generation sequencing (NGS). In addition, we used gene expression profiling and bioinformatics to associate integration sites to transcriptional activity and to genetic features of the tumor cell genome. We selected six cases of ALV-J positive and diagnosed as ML for integration sites identify from commercial broiler breeder flocks in Guangdong Province of China between November 2011 and March 2012. All tumors were diagnosed on the basis of characteristic gross and microscopic lesions. Furthermore, PCR tests on the genomic DNA of tissues and virus isolation assay only showed ALV-J-specific positive results in previously study. We randomly chose 4 independent liver samples from the six cases for gene expression profile analysis. And 3 ALV-negative tissue samples from specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens at the same age were use as negative controls. Thus a total of 7 samples were hybridized, three representing control.
Project description:Infection of breeder flocks in China with subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) has increased recently. In this study, we have developed a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for rapid detection of ALV-J from culture isolates and clinical samples. The ALV-J-specific LAMP assay efficiently amplified the target gene within 45 min at 63 degrees C using only a simple laboratory water bath. To determine the specificity of the LAMP assay, various subgroup ALVs and other related viruses were detected. A ladder pattern on gel electrophoresis was observed for ALV-J isolates but not for other viruses. To evaluate the sensitivities of the LAMP assay and conventional PCR, the NX0101 isolate plasmid DNA was amplified by them. The detection limit of the LAMP assay was 5 target gene copies/reaction, which was up to 20 times higher than that of conventional PCR. To evaluate the application of the LAMP assay for detection of ALV-J in clinical samples, 49 samples suspected of ALV infection from breeder flocks were tested by the LAMP assay and PCR. Moreover, virus isolation from these samples was also performed using cell culture. The positive-sample ratios were 21/49 (43%) by conventional PCR, 26/49 (53%) by the LAMP assay, and 19/46 (41%) by virus isolation. Additionally, a positive LAMP reaction can be visually ascertained by the observation of turbidity or a color change after addition of SYBR green I dye. Consequently, the LAMP assay is a simple, rapid, and sensitive diagnostic method and can potentially be developed for rapid detection of ALV-J infection in the field.