A retrospective, serological survey was performed to determine an approximate time frame for when chickens were first exposed to chicken anemia virus (CAV) in the southeastern United States. A serum collection covering most of the period between 1959 and 2005 was available for the present study. These sera were obtained from adult chicken flocks that were maintained in experimental chicken farms at Auburn University's Department of Poultry Science. Sera were tested for the presence of CAV-specific antibodies using a commercially available competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Values <0.6 were considered positive. Fresh sera obtained from hens in 2005 showed 45.5% negative and 54.5% positive for CAV antibodies. The assessment of serum samples covering the time period of 1959 through 1979 resulted in most sera being positive for CAV antibodies. The percentage of positive samples between years varied from 43% to 100%. These serological results support assumptions based on circumstantial evidence that CAV must have been present in the United States long before its first isolation in 1989.
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Vol. 50 • No. 1