Arch Virol. 2016 Jul;161(7):2007-2011.
Emergence of reticuloendotheliosis virus in pigeons in Guangdong province, southern China
Shao-Lun Zhai 1*, Sheng-Nan Chen 2, Tao Lin 3, Xiao-Hui Wen1, Wen-Kang Wei 1, Dian-Hong Lv 1, Rui-Ai Chen 2, 4
Shao-Lun Zhai, Sheng-Nan Chen and Tao Lin contributed equally to this study.
- Animal Disease Diagnostic Center, Institute of Animal Health, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guangdong Key Labratory of Animal Disease Prevention, Guangzhou 510640, China;
- Guangdong Wens Dahuanong Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Xinxing 527400, China;
- Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA;
- College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
* E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV), an important immunosuppressive pathogen, has many hosts, including chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and wild birds. Clinically, REV may lead to increased susceptibility to other pathogens, resulting in serious tissue damage (especially tumors) and the death of its host. In this study, we encountered a disease outbreak resulting in a large number of deaths of pigeons in Guangdong Province, Southern China. Histopathological analysis revealed apparent tumor-like lesions in multiple organs of pigeons. PCR assays for detection of tumor-associated pathogens (REV, avian leukosis virus, and Marek’s disease virus) in poultry revealed the presence of REV sequences only. Moreover, fowlpox virus (FPV) with an insertion of REV long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences was also considered, but it was excluded using a specific PCR assay. To gain more genetic information, two full-length REV genome sequences were determined and found to have the highest nucleotide sequence similarity (99.9 %) and the closest genetic relationship to a vaccine strain (MD-2) and had a more distant genetic relationship (94.3 %) to a duck-origin strain (ATCC-VR775). To confirm the presence of REVs in pigeons, specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens and healthy pigeons were inoculated with microfiltered tumor tissue homogenates and were found to be susceptible to infection with REV. To our knowledge, this is the first report of REV in pigeons, and the data suggest that pigeons may be the natural host of REV.
Recently, Reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) was frequently detected in poultry vaccines against Marek’s Disease, Fowlpox and Infectious Bursal Disease. In this study, we indentified the two REV isolates and found that both of them had the closest relationships with a isolate (MD-2) from Marek’s Disease Vaccine. It suggested REV could play an important role for viral transmission by using vaccines. Prevously, no reports about REV in pigeons were avialable. Our data suggest that pigeons may be the natural host of REV.
Considering REV might bring more losses to pigeon farm, we provied two pieces of suggestion for farm owner. Firstly, it is to eliminate the pigeons with the possible infection. Secondly, it is to treatment all of possible infected pigeons with Ribavirin and sensitive antibiotics via test. Three months later, our follow-up survey found that there were good health records and good outputs on the pigeon farm following the second suggestion. From this study, it implied that good treatment measures could be effective for some important diseases, even if they were the tumorigenic disease in poultry. This study tell us that vaccines are important to prevent the disease, however, good treatment is very necessary when the diseases are coming.
- Zhai SL, Chen SN, Lin T, Wen XH, Wei WK, Lv DH, Chen RA 2016 Emergence of reticuloendotheliosis virus in pigeons in Guangdong Province, Southern China. Arch Virol. 161(7):2007-11. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-2870-3.
This work was supported by grants (Nos. 2012B040302010, 2013B06180003, 2014B040404061 and 2015B050501007) from Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology.
Dr. Shao-Lun Zhai,
Animal Disease Diagnostic Center, Institute of Animal Health, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences
No. 21 Baishigang Street, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510640, China.