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J Comp Pathol. 2012 Feb-Apr;146(2-3):223-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Pathogenicity of fowl adenovirus in specific pathogen free chicken embryos.

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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Gondar University, PO Box 196 Gondar, Ethiopia.


Inclusion body hepatitis (IBH) associated with fowl adenovirus (FAdV) infection has a worldwide distribution. The aim of the present study was to determine the pathogenicity of Malaysian FAdV serotype 9 (UPM04217) in specific pathogen free (SPF) embryonated chicken embryos. FAdV (titre 10(5.8)/ml) was inoculated into SPF embryonated chicken eggs (0.1 ml per egg) via the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). There was 100% embryo mortality within 4-11 days post infection (dpi). The gross and microscopical lesions of the embryo were confined to the liver and were noted at 5, 7, 9 and 11 dpi. The liver was pale with multifocal areas of necrosis, fibrosis and haemorrhage. Microscopically, there was moderate to severe congestion and haemorrhage and severe and diffuse hepatocyte degeneration and necrosis, with intranuclear inclusion bodies (INIBs) and associated inflammation. Haemorrhage, congestion, degeneration, necrosis and hyperplasia of the CAM with INIBs were observed at 5, 7, 9 and 11 dpi. Varying degrees of congestion, haemorrhage, degeneration and necrosis were also observed in the yolk sac, kidney, spleen, heart and bursa of Fabricius. Ultrastructurally, numerous viral particles in the nucleus of hepatocytes were recorded at 7, 9 and 11 dpi, whereas at 5 dpi, fine granular and filamentous INIBs were observed. The INIBs in the CAM were present either as fine granular filamentous structures or as large viral inclusions. FAdV (UPM04217) is therefore highly pathogenic to SPF chicken embryos and the embryonic liver should be used for isolation and propagation of the virus.

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