Fowl adenovirus serotype 4: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic detection, and vaccine strategies

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Fowl adenovirus (FAdV) serotype-4 is highly pathogenic for chickens, especially for broilers aged 3 to 5 wk, and it has emerged as one of the foremost causes of economic losses to the poultry industry in the last 30 years. The liver is a major target organ of FAdV-4 infections, and virus-infected chickens usually show symptoms of hydropericardium syndrome. The virus is very contagious, and it is spread both vertically and horizontally. It can be isolated from infected liver homogenates and detected by several laboratory diagnostic methods (including an agar gel immunodiffusion test, indirect immunofluorescence assays, counterimmunoelectrophoresis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, restriction endonuclease analyses, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), real-time PCR, and high-resolution melting-curve analyses). Although inactivated vaccines have been deployed widely to control the disease, attenuated live vaccines and subunit vaccines also have been developed, and they are more attractive vaccine candidates. This article provides a comprehensive review of FAdV-4, including its epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic detection, and vaccine strategies.

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