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Arch Virol. 2013 Mar;158(3):659-66. doi: 10.1007/s00705-012-1414-8. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

Dynamic distribution and tissue tropism of infectious laryngotracheitis virus in experimentally infected chickens.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.


Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT), caused by infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV), is an Office International des Epizooties (OIE) notifiable disease. However, we have not clearly understood the dynamic distribution, tissue tropism, pathogenesis, and replication of ILTV in chickens. In this report, we investigated the dynamic distribution and tissue tropism of the virus in internal organs of experimentally infected chickens using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and a histopathological test. The study showed that ILTV could be clearly detected in eight internal organs (throat, trachea, lung, cecum, kidney, pancreas, thymus and esophagus) of infected chickens, whereas the virus was difficult to detect in heart, spleen, proventriculus, liver, brain and bursa. Meanwhile, the thymidine kinase (TK) gene levels in eight internal organs increased from 3 days to 5 days postinfection, and then decreased from 6 days to 8 days postinfection. The log copy number of ILTV progressively increased over 3 days, which corresponds to the clinical score and the result of the histopathological test. The results provide a foundation for further clarification of the pathogenic mechanism of ILTV in internal organs and indicate that throat, lung, trachea, cecum, kidney, pancreas and esophagus may be preferred sites of acute infection, suggesting that the tissue tropism and distribution of ILTV is very broad.

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