Detection and molecular characterization of chicken astrovirus associated with chicks that have an unusual condition known as “white chicks” in Brazil

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Chicken astrovirus (CAstV) is one of many viruses related to enteric diseases in poultry that are associated with Runting-Stunting Syndrome (RSS), which affects young chickens. CAstV was also recently associated with an unusual condition in chicks called “white chicks.” Some hatcheries in certain states of Brazil have reported several incubation problems, mortality, and the presence of chicks with white plumages over the past several months. These chicks were termed locally as “white chicks.” The present work investigated 30 chicks with this unusual condition using a multidisciplinary approach. Postmortem examination of each chick showed enlarged livers and intestines that were full of liquid and gas (30/30). The pancreas, kidneys, and spleen were pale (30/30). The other organs did not show any macroscopic alterations. CAstV, chicken parvovirus (ChPV), avian nephritis virus (ANV), avian rotavirus (ARtV), avian reovirus (AReoV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), and fowl adenovirus group I (FAdV-1) were tested in the intestines, pancreas, proventriculus, gizzard, liver, spleen, bursa, kidneys, thymus, lung, heart, brain, and yolk sac in each chick. All organs and yolk sacs were positive for CAstV in different titres and negative for the other tested viruses. The partial molecular characterization of the ORF 1b gene of CAstV using 28 sequences revealed a high similarity of the nucleotides and amino acids with sequences of CAstV from North America, Europe, and Asia, and our CAstV sequences clustered into a unique group that was separate from the other sequences. These results demonstrated that CAstV was associated with the white chick condition in Brazil. The virus was distributed in most organs, including the brain and yolk sac. These results suggest that the virus could be transmitted vertically. The molecular characterization also revealed that the CAstV associated with white chick condition was molecularly related to other CAstV sequences found worldwide.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles