Transmissible viral proventriculitis (TVP) was experimentally reproduced in 2-wk-old specific-pathogen-free chickens and commercial broiler chickens by eyedrop inoculation of adenovirus-like virus (AdLV), isolate R11/3. No clinical signs and no weight gain depression were observed in chickens inoculated with AdLV (R11/3); however, gross and microscopic lesions characteristic of TVP were present in proventriculi of inoculated chickens. Proventriculi of AdLV (R11/3)–inoculated chickens were markedly enlarged, compared with sham-inoculated controls, by day 7 postinoculation (PI). Microscopic lesions in proventriculi of inoculated chickens were detected beginning on day 3 PI and consisted of degeneration and necrosis of glandular epithelium, ductal epithelial hyperplasia, replacement of glandular epithelium with ductal epithelium, and diffuse interstitial lymphoid infiltration; no microscopic lesions were observed in other tissues. AdLV (R11/3) antigens were detected in proventriculi by immunohistochemistry on days 3–10 PI in inoculated SPF chickens and days 3–21 PI in inoculated commercial broiler chickens; no viral antigens were detected in other tissues. AdLV (R11/3) was reisolated from proventriculi of inoculated SPF and commercial broiler chickens on days 5 and 7 PI. No virus, viral antigens, or lesions were detected in proventriculi collected from sham-inoculated chickens. These findings indicate an etiologic role for AdLV (R11/3) in TVP.
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Vol. 51 • No. 1