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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: RESPONSE OF WHITE LEGHORN CHICKENS OF VARIOUS GENETIC LINES TO INFECTION WITH AVIAN LEUKOSIS VIRUS SUBGROUP J)

Author
item Williams, Susan
item Reed, Willie
item Bacon, Larry
item Fadly, Aly

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2003
Publication Date: 1/1/2004
Citation: Williams, S.M., Reed, W.M., Bacon, L.D., Fadly, A.M. 2004. Response of white leghorn chickens of various genetic lines to infection with avian leukosis virus subgroup J. Avian Diseases. 48:61-67.

Interpretive Summary: Subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) is an economically important virus infection that can cause cancerl-ike disease and other production problems primarily in meat-type chickens. Recent observations suggest that the virus can also infect egg-type chickens, but the influence of various genetic components on the response of these egg-type chickens to ALV-J infection is not known. Our data show that genetic differences among lines of egg-type (white leghorn) chickens, including the presence or absence of an endogenous genetic element termed endogenous virus 21 (EV21), may influence response of chickens to infection with ALV-J.This new information is significant and useful to scientists in academia and industry who are studying the epidemiology and control of this important virus infection of chickens.

Technical Abstract: Chickens from various white leghorn experimental lines were infected with strain ADOL-Hc1 of subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) either as embryos or at 1 day of age. In experiment 1, chickens were tested for ALV-J induced viremia, antibody and packed cell volumes (PCV) at various ages. At 4 and 10 weeks of age, bursal tissues were also examined for ALV-induced pre-neoplastic lesions using the methyl green-pyronine (MGP) stain. In experiment 2, chickens harboring or lacking endogenous virus 21 (EV21) were inoculated with strain ADOL-Hc1 of ALV-J at hatch. All embryo-inoculated chickens used in experiment 1 tested positive for ALV-J and lacked antibody throughout the entire experiment and were considered viremic-tolerant, regardless of line of chickens. By 10 weeks of age, the incidence of ALV-J viremia in chickens inoculated with virus at hatch varied from 0% (line 0 chickens) to 97% (line 15I5); no influence of ALV-J infection was noted on PCV. Results from microscopic examination of MGP-stained bursal tissues suggest that ALV-J may induce typical ALV-induced transformation in bursal follicles of white leghorn chickens. Lymphoid leukosis and hemangiomas were the most common ALV-J induced tumors noted in chickens used in this study. In experiment 2, at 31 weeks of age, 54% of chickens harboring EV21 were viremic-tolerant, compared with 5% of chickens lacking EV21 following inoculation with ALV-J at hatch. The data indicate that genetic differences among lines of white leghorn chickens, including the presence or absence of EV21, may influence response of chickens to infection with ALV-J.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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