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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Finlay, James
item Dunn, John
item Witter, Richard
item Silva, Robert

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/3/2006
Publication Date: 8/3/2006
Citation: Finlay, J.B., Dunn, J.R., Witter, R.L., Silva, R.F. 2006. A comparison between MDV production in feather pulp versus feather follicle epithelium (FFE)[abstract]. 2006 Merck/Merial National Veterinary Scholar Symposium. Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science: Creating the Gumbo of Progress. p. 97.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Marek's disease is a lymphoproliferative disease in chickens caused by the alphaherpesvirus Marek's disease virus (MDV). After a cytolytic phase in lymphoid tissue (i.e. thymus, spleen and bursa) the virus travels to the feather follicle epithelium (FFE). The FFE is the only known location that sheds cell-free MDV. One method of measuring viral load in a bird is to quantify viral DNA in feather tips. The current study was designed to determine whether quantification of viral DNA in feather tips is an accurate reflection of the quantity of shed virus. A total of 57 birds (6 days old) were infected with serotype 1 MDV of varying pathotype and shedding potential, specifically JM/102W, rMd5, 648A p.8 and 648A p.50. They were divided into 4 isolators with multiple birds and 12 isolators with single birds. Feather samples were collected at 3 time points (14, 21 and 28 days). Dust was also collected and analyzed for MDV as the true measure of viral shedding. Comparisons of MDV load as reflected in the e FFE tips and in the the pulp within the feather shaft to that determined from the dust samples will allow us to verify or negate the validity of each as a measure of viral shedding. Currently, DNA has been isolated from all samples and standardized. Results from duplex quantitative PCR assay comparing MDV gB and a unique host chicken sequence are pending.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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