Submitted to: Journal of Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/6/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Marek's disease (MD) is caused by infection with virus that has a large DNA genome. In the laboratory, a second type of virus can occasionally insert itself in the genome of MD virus when both viruses are grown together. However, it is not known whether this occurs when infection with both viruses occurs in the intact animal. This study shows evidence that some MD virus molecules contain elements of the second virus. This finding is important to understanding the way the MD virus mutates in nature and, ultimately, to the search for better ways to control the infection.
Technical Abstract: Chickens experimentally co-infected with both ALV, subgroup J and with MDV at 14 days-old were bled and the blood DNA was amplified with both MDV and ALV-J primers to determine the infection status. Nine and 7 birds were positive for MDV and ALV-J, respectively, and 6 birds were infected with both viruses. Using the recently developed Hot Spot-combined PCR assay to demonstrate the presence of the retroviral LTR in the MDV genome, we found chimeric molecules in 3 out of 10 birds. The molecular composition of these molecules was shown by ALV-LTR and nested ALV-LTR amplifications. The products were Southern blotted with the ALV-LTR probe, the bands were purified and sequenced, and their multiple alignment to the ALV-J-LTR sequence revealed their homology to the ALV-J-LTR amplicon. We showed now that chimeric molecules containing retroviral sequences were produced in the experimental MDV and ALV- J co-infected birds, and each bird contained more than one type of chimeric molecules.