Title: Investigating the turkey gut virome and its role in enteric disease Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 22, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The information regarding the complete viral constituency in the poultry gut is lacking. For decades, researchers have investigated the possible etiologic agents associated with the recognized enteric disease syndromes and concomitant performance problems in chicken and turkey flocks. Several viruses with possible roles in enteric disease have been described, but no single virus has been definitively implicated as the sole causative agent of the syndromes such as Runting-Stunting Syndrome (RSS) in broiler chickens or Poult Enteritis Complex (PEC) in young turkeys. Attempts to re-create these syndromes with isolated viruses in experimental birds often fail to reproduce all the signs noted in affected flocks in the field. Recently, we have begun using ultra high-throughput nucleic acid sequencing (Roche/454 pyrosequencing platform and associated protocols) to prepare viral metagenomes representing the complex viral community in the turkey gut. These investigations have identified novel enteric viruses that may play roles in the enteric diseases and performance problems noted in the field, leading to new molecular diagnostic assays for certain viruses. Subsequent investigations in our laboratory have focused on comparative metagenomic analyses designed to identify disease-associated viruses and genes. The present report will focus on the novel and unique poultry enteric viruses we have identified using this and similar approaches, and will provide details on the bioinformatic workflow developed to analyze the extensive sequence data generated during our comparative investigations.