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Title: Identification and characterization of avian hepatitis E virus in 2013 outbreaks of hepatitis-splenomegaly syndrome in two US layer operations
Contributor(s): Gerber, Priscilla Freitas  (author)orcid ; Trampel, Darrell W (author); Opriessnig, Tanja (author)
Publication Date: 2014
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/03079457.2014.935755Open Access Link
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Abstract: Two commercial Midwestern egg-type chicken flocks experienced significant increases in mortality rates in April 2013 with clinical signs appearing in 17-week-old pullets on Farm A and in 46-week-old hens on Farm B. Average weekly mortality was 0.44% over a 4-week period on Farm A and 0.17% over an 8-week period on Farm B. On Farm A, flocks in the affected house had a 45% decrease in daily egg production from weeks 19 to 27 when compared with standard egg production curves (P < 0.01) while no decrease in egg production was noticed on Farm B. Post-mortem examination revealed changes consistent with hepatitis-splenomegaly syndrome, including hepatomegaly with serosanguineous fluid in the coelomic cavity and hepatic subcapsular haemorrhages. Microscopic lesions were characterized by multifocal necrotizing hepatitis and intrahepatic haemorrhage. No significant bacteria were recovered from liver samples, but 72 to 100% of the liver samples from affected chickens on Farm A (8/11) and Farm B (7/7) contained detectable amounts of avian hepatitis E virus (aHEV) RNA as determined by polymerase chain reaction. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of a 361-base-pair fragment of the helicase gene demonstrated 98.6 to 100% nucleotide identity between the aHEV genomes from Farm A and Farm B, whereas identities ranged from 74.6 to 90.5% when compared with other representative sequences. Sequences from this study clustered within aHEV genotype 2 previously recognized in the USA. In contrast to other reported aHEV outbreaks that occurred in 30-week-old to 80-week-old chickens, in the present investigation clinical aHEV was identified in 17-week-old chickens on one of the farms.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Avian Pathology, 43(4), p. 357-363
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1465-3338
Field of Research (FOR): 070703 Veterinary Diagnosis and Diagnostics
070706 Veterinary Medicine
070712 Veterinary Virology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 830309 Poultry
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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