Submitted to: American Veterinary Medical Association Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 18, 2007
Publication Date: July 18, 2007
Citation: Dunn, J.R., Finlay, J.B., Witter, R.L., Silva, R.F. 2007. A comparison between Marek's disease virus production in feather pulp versus feather follicle epithelium (FFE) [abstract]. American Association of Avian Pathologists/American Veterinary Medical Association Abstract. p. 40. Technical Abstract: Although Marek's disease viral load in chickens can be assessed by quantifying the viral DNA in homogenized feather tips, this value may not correlate to the viral load being shed. This study was designed to determine what portion of the feather tip tissue is most reflective of virus load in the shed dander by comparing feather follicle epithelium (FFE) cells, adhered to the exterior of the shaft, to interior cells within the feather pulp. Using multiplex quantitative PCR, the FFE cells from infected birds had significantly higher viral copy number (VCN) per host cell than from feather pulp, and were more comparable to the VCN measured from feather dander. These results suggest that DNA isolated from FFE is more reflective of actual shed virus than VCN measured from the feather pulp.