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Vet Pathol. 2002 Sep;39(5):595-8.

Localization of astrovirus in experimentally infected turkeys as determined by in situ hybridization.


Twenty-one 3-day-old turkey poults from British United Turkeys of America were orally inoculated with a recently characterized astrovirus, TAstV-2, isolated from turkeys with poult enteritis and mortality syndrome. At 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 days postinfection (dpi), three inoculated birds were euthanatized, and tissues (intestines, spleen, bursa, and thymus) were collected immediately into 10% neutral buffered formalin. Inoculated birds were diarrheic by 3 dpi, and frothy feces persisted throughout the experimental period. Histologically, there was only slight evidence of enteric damage, which was characterized by mild epithelial necrosis, lamina propria infiltrates, minimal villus atrophy, and mild crypt hyperplasia. In situ hybridization, using a negative sense digoxigenin-labeled riboprobe to the capsid gene of TAstV-2, revealed viral RNA in intestinal epithelial cells at the basal margins of the villi, in distal small intestine, and in cecum at 2 dpi, with subsequent extension to epithelium of the large intestine and proximal small intestine (3-5 dpi). Minimal virus remained by 9 dpi.

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