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Avian Pathol. 2012 Oct;41(5):429-35. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2012.704980. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

Experimental infection of poults and guinea fowl with genetically distinct avian astroviruses.

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OIE/FAO and National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease, OIE Collaborating Centre for Diseases at the Human Animal Interface, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, 35020, Legnaro, Italy.


Avian astroviruses, of the genus Avastrovirus, are recognized as being the cause of enteritis in different bird species worldwide. In particular, turkeys are very susceptible and can be severely affected by this viral agent. More recently, astroviruses were detected in diseased guinea fowl in Italy but whether or not they were the causative agents of the clinical disease was not established. Despite the distribution and relevance of Avastrovirus infection, very little information on pathogenesis or factors influencing the pathogenicity of astroviruses is available. To increase available data on the pathogenesis of these viruses and to test the hypothesis of possible interspecies transmission, experimental infections were carried out in turkeys and guinea fowl with two genetically distinct avian astroviruses, namely TK-6363 and GF-5497, originating respectively from diseased turkey poults and guinea fowl. Data obtained in our study show that both of the viruses selected were able to infect young birds of the species in which they were originally detected. Additionally, these viruses were able to infect young birds of different species causing clinical signs, thus providing experimental evidence for the infection of distinct avian astroviruses in different avian species.

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