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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Inactivation of An Astrovirus Associated with Poult Enteritis Mortality Syndrome

Authors
item Schultz Cherry, Stacey
item King, Daniel
item Koci, Matthew - UNIV OF GA/USDA-ARS-SEPRL

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 4, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Poult enteritis mortality syndrome (PEMS) is a highly infectious disease of young turkeys causing serious financial losses to the turkey industry. PEMS is a difficult disease to control and prevent. Generally, if a commercial turkey house becomes PEMS-positive, it will remain positive even after depopulation and thorough cleaning. A major reason for this is the causative agent is unknown. We recently isolated an astrovirus from PEMS infected turkeys that reproduces many of the clinical signs of PEMS. Astroviruses in other species are very difficult to inactivate once they are present in the environment. In these studies we examined the resistance of the turkey astrovirus to inactivation using the disinfectants used by the turkey industry to clean infected turkey houses. These studies show that none of the currently used disinfectants inactivate the turkey astrovirus. Only formaldehyde, methanol, and Virkon S inactivated astrovirus.

Technical Abstract: Outbreaks of poult enteritis mortality syndrome (PEMS) continue to cause financial losses to the turkey industry. The relationship of PEMS to other enteric disease complexes of young turkeys remains unknown, partly because the causative agent of PEMS remains unknown. PEMS is a very difficult disease to control and prevent. Generally, if a commercial turkey house becomes PEMS-positive, it will remain positive even after depopulation and thorough cleaning. Recently, we isolated a unique astrovirus strain from the thymus and intestines of PEMS-infected poults. Mammalian astroviruses are very resistant to inactivation. In these studies, we examine the stability of partially-purified PEMS-associated astrovirus to inactivation using heat, laboratory disinfectants and commercial disinfectants used in commercial turkey houses in an embryonated egg model system. Similar to mammalian astroviruses, the PEMS-associated astrovirus is resistant to inactivation by heat, acidification, detergent treatment, and treatment with phenolic, quaternary ammonium, or benzalkonium chloride-based products. Only treatment with formaldehyde, beta-propriolactone, or the peroxymonosulfate-based product, Virkon S, completely inactivated the astrovirus in the embryo model.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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