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Title: Molecular characterization of chicken and turkey astroviruses

item Pantin Jackwood, Mary
item Spackman, Erica

Submitted to: Poultry Science Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2005
Publication Date: 1/24/2006
Citation: Pantin Jackwood, M.J. 2006. Molecular characterization of chicken and turkey astroviruses [abstract]. International Poultry Scientific Forum Scientific Program. p.32.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This study investigated the genetic diversity of astroviruses circulating in poultry. Intestinal samples collected from commercial turkey and broiler flocks from different regions of the United States during 2005 were examined for the presence of Astroviruses by RT-PCR. Astroviruses were found in samples collected from flocks with enteritis and stunting as well as from healthy flocks. Phylogenetic analysis performed by partial sequence analysis of the polymerase gene (ORF-1b) indicates the presence of four clearly different astroviruses circulating in poultry: Turkey Astrovirus 1 (TAstV-1), Turkey Astrovirus 2 (TAstV-2), Avian Nephritis Virus (ANV) and a newly identified Chicken Astrovirus (CAstV). Nucleotide identity between these groups was between 52 and 60%. A high level of genetic variation was also observed among the isolates in each group. Turkey astroviruses (TAstV-1 and TAst-2) and ANV were detected in turkeys, TAstV-2 being by far the most frequently detected. Avian nephritis virus and CAstV were both detected in broiler chickens, with some regional distributions observed. In conclusion, we found four genetically distinct avian astroviruses which are widespread in turkeys and broilers. Since the viruses were detected from sick and healthy flocks, the significance of their presence needs to be further investigated.