Submitted to: Avian Tumor Viruses Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 21, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Lymphomas caused by avian retroviruses and herpesviruses are the most common viral neoplastic diseases of poultry. Retroviral lymphomas are caused by avian leukosis virus (ALV) or by reticuloendotheliosis (RE) virus (REV), whereas Marek's disease (MD) lymphoma is caused by a herpesvirus (MDV). Differential diagnosis of viral lymphomas of poultry has been based don pathological criteria. Further, virologic and serologic criteria, such as assays for virus, antigens, or antibodies are not particularly helpful in tumor diagnosis because ALV, REV, and MDV are all widespread and infection in the absence of tumor formation is common. Current technology such as immunocytochemistry and molecular hybridization is being used to develop more sensitive and specific procedures for a more definitive diagnosis of avian viral lymphomas. This review describes the criteria currently available for the diagnosis of viral neoplastic diseases of chickens, namely avian leukosis, Marek's disease, and reticuloendotheliosis.