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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Research on Reovirus Funded by USPOULTRY Foundation


Project F071 entitled Evaluation of factors that affect susceptibility and control of Reovirus-induced viral arthritis in broiler chickens was recently completed by Dr. Milos Markis and Dr. John K. Rosenberger of AviServe, LLC. The project involved development of an infection model to demonstrate vertical transmission of Reoviruses by in ovo inoculation followed by isolation of the virus from chicks at day of hatch. It was demonstrated that chicks infected via the vertical route shed reovirus for three weeks. Vertical transmission results in clinical arthritis by 14 days of age. In contrast, chicks that were infected at day of age did not develop swelling of the foot pads.

Chicks used in the evaluation were refractory to reovirus when infected at 28 days of age. The study reinforced current industry practice of vaccinating hens so as to produce protective maternal antibody in progeny.

A second component of the investigation was to examine the genome of the AVS-FTU reovirus. With the exception of gene M2, genes were homologous with other chicken reoviruses. The protein sequence for the experimental reovirus strain causing tenosynovitis in chickens was similar to a turkey reovirus strain which emerged in 2015 resulting in tenosynovitis and rupture of the gastrocnemius tendon.

This study conducted by Aviserve represents a significance advance in understanding the epidemiology and molecular biology of reoviral arthritis and has direct application to control of the infection under commercial production.

Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane