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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Endemic Poultry Viral Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370769

Research Project: Genetic and Biological Determinants of Avian Herpesviruses Pathogenicity, Transmission, and Evolution to Inform the Development of Effective Control Strategies

Location: Endemic Poultry Viral Diseases Research

Title: The role of host genetic resistance on Marek’s disease virus transmission

item Dunn, John
item Mays, Jody
item BAILEY, RICHARD - Roslin Institute
item CHASE-TOPPING, MARGO - Roslin Institute
item Cheng, Hans
item DOESCHL-WILSON, ANDREA - Roslin Institute

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/29/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Marek’s disease (MD) is currently controlled through biosecurity, widespread vaccination, and selection for genetic resistance. Marek’s disease virus (MDV) field strains have undergone multiple shifts of increased virulence that required introduction of new vaccines. This cycle of virus evolution followed by introduction of new vaccines is not sustainable in this large, expanding, and highly concentrated industry. In this study, we examined the potential role of genetic resistance in reducing quantity and duration of viral transmission, with the goal of reducing environmental virus load and thus increase the efficacy of existing and future control measures. We used a donor-recipient challenge model to determine when, how much, and how long MDV was transmitted. Donor birds differed by genetic resistance (Line 6, Line 7 or Hy-Line W36) whereas recipient birds were all highly susceptible (Line 15x7). Donor birds were transferred every 2 days to naïve recipient birds between days 10-20 post-challenge. Our results indicated that host genetics has an effect on virus load in feathers of donor birds, but did not have a significant effect on delaying the initiation of virus transmission or subsequent pathogenicity in recipient birds. Compared to our past studies, these results demonstrate that host genetics has a much smaller effect on virus transmission compared to MD vaccination.