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Novel picornavirus in turkey poults with hepatitis, California, USA

Honkavuori, Kirsi S.; Shivaprasad, H. L.; Briese, Thomas; Street, Craig; Hirschberg, David L.; Hutchison, Stephen K.; Lipkin, W. Ian

To identify a candidate etiologic agent for turkey viral hepatitis, we analyzed samples from diseased turkey poults from 8 commercial flocks in California, USA, that were collected during 2008–2010. High-throughput pyrosequencing of RNA from livers of poults with turkey viral hepatitis (TVH) revealed picornavirus sequences. Subsequent cloning of the ≈9-kb genome showed an organization similar to that of picornaviruses with conservation of motifs within the P1, P2, and P3 genome regions, but also unique features, including a 1.2-kb sequence of unknown function at the junction of P1 and P2 regions. Real-time PCR confirmed viral RNA in liver, bile, intestine, serum, and cloacal swab specimens from diseased poults. Analysis of liver by in situ hybridization with viral probes and immunohistochemical testing of serum demonstrated viral nucleic acid and protein in livers of diseased poults. Molecular, anatomic, and immunologic evidence suggests that TVH is caused by a novel picornavirus, tentatively named turkey hepatitis virus.

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Title
Emerging Infectious Diseases
DOI
https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1703.101410

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Infection and Immunity
Published Here
March 11, 2011
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