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Co-infection with avian hepatitis E virus and avian leukosis virus subgroup J as the cause of an outbreak of hepatitis and liver hemorrhagic syndromes in a brown layer chicken flock in China.

ABSTRACT: 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.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC7587861 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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