Application of high-resolution melting curve analysis for typing of fowl adenoviruses in field cases of inclusion body hepatitis

P. A. Steer, D. O'Rourke, S. A. Ghorashi, A. H. Noormohammadi

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75 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Fowl adenoviruses (FAdVs) cause inclusion body hepatitis (IBH) in chickens. In this study, clinical cases of IBH from Australian broiler flocks were screened for the presence and genotype of FAdVs. Methods Twenty-six IBH cases from commercial poultry farms were screened. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coupled with high-resolution melt (HRM) curve analysis (PCR/HRM genotyping) was used to determine the presence and genotype of FAdVs. For comparison, field isolates were also assessed by virus microneutralisation and nucleotide sequence analysis of the hexon loop 1 (Hex L1) gene. PCR detection of chicken anaemia virus (CAV) and infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) was also employed. Results FAdV-8b and FAdV-11 were identified in 13 cases each. In one case, FAdV-1 was also identified. Cross-neutralisation was observed between the FAdV-11 field strain and the reference FAdV-2 and 11 antisera, a result also seen with the type 2 and 11 reference FAdVs. Field strains 1 and 8b were neutralised only by their respective type antisera. The FAdV-8b field strain was identical to the Australian FAdV vaccine strain (type 8b) in the Hex L1 region. The Hex L1 sequence of the FAdV-11 field strain had the highest identity to FAdV-11 (93.2%) and FAdV-2 (92.7%) reference strains. In the five cases tested for CAV and IBDV, neither virus was detected. The evidence suggested the presence of sufficient antibodies against CAV and IBD in the parent flocks and there was no indication of immunosuppression caused by these viruses. Conclusion These results indicate that PCR/HRM genotyping is a reliable diagnostic method for FAdV identification and is more rapid than virus neutralisation and direct sequence analysis. Furthermore, they suggest that IBH in Australian broiler flocks is a primary disease resulting from two alternative FAdV strains from different species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-192
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2011


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