Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2004
Publication Date: 12/31/2004
Citation: Williams, S.M., Fitzgerald, S.D., Reed, W.M., Lee, L.F., Fadly, A.M. 2004. Tissue tropism and bursal transformation ability of subgroup J avian leukosis virus in white leghorn chickens. Avian Diseases. 48:921-927. Interpretive Summary: Subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) is an economically important virus infection that can cause cancer-like disease and other production problems in meat-type chickens. Previous observations suggest that the virus is always associated with certain type of cancer termed myeloid leukosis. Our data show for the first time that at least certain strains of ALV-J can induce another type of disease termed lymphoid leukosis in white leghorn chickens. Using specific reagents developed at our laboratory, we were also able to determine sites for virus replication in various organs of susceptible chickens. This new information is significant and should be useful to scientists in academia and industry who are studying the development of various disease syndromes induced by this important virus infection of chickens.
Technical Abstract: Distribution of subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) in various tissues of White Leghorn chickens inoculated as embryos with strain ADOL-Hc1 of ALV-J was studied. At 2 and 6 weeks of age, various tissues from infected and uninfected control chickens were tested for the presence of ALV-J by immunohistochemistry using a monoclonal antibody to the envelope glycoprotein (gp85) of ALV-J. Examination of formalin-fixed tissues from infected chickens at both 2 and 6 weeks of age revealed specific staining indicating the presence of ALV-J antigen in all tissues, except skeletal muscle. Using methyl green-pyronine stain, ALV-J-induced bursal transformation was noted in sections of bursa of Fabricius. However, the frequency of the presence of ALV-J-induced transformed bursal follicles was lower than that induced by subgroup A ALV in highly susceptible chickens of line 15I5 X 71. Data suggest that a monoclonal antibody against ALV-J gp85 was successfully used in the specific detection of ALV-J in various tissues and that ALV-J infection in White Leghorn chickens can lead to transformation of bursal follicles and consequently the development of lymphoid leukosis.