The effects of viral strain, viral dose, and age of bird at inoculation on subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV J) persistence, neutralizing antibody (VNAb) response, and tumors were studied in commercial meat-type chickens. Chickens were inoculated on the fifth day of embryonation (5 ED) or on day of hatch (DOH) with either 100 or 10,000 50% tissue-culture infective dose (TCID50) of one of three ALV J strains, namely ADOL Hc1, ADOL 6803, or ADOL 4817. At 1, 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, and 32 wk posthatch, chickens were examined for ALV J viremia and VNAb against the inoculated strain of ALV J. A high incidence (83%–100%) of ALV J persistence was observed in all treatment groups. Development of VNAb did not always lead to viremia-free status; even though 18% of the chickens developed VNAb, only 4% were able to clear viremia. The viral strain, dose, and age of bird at inoculation seemed to have an effect on the incidence of VNAb; however, the differences were statistically significant in only some treatment groups. Chickens infected with ADOL 6803 had higher incidence of VNAb than chickens infected with ADOL Hc1 and ADOL 4817 (P < 0.05 in groups 5 ED at 100 TCID50 and DOH at 10,000 TCID50). There was a trend in all groups inoculated with 100 TCID50 to have higher incidence of VNAb than that of groups inoculated with 10,000 TCID50 (ADOL 6803 at 5 ED and ADOL 4817 at DOH [P < 0.05]; ADOL Hc1 at DOH [P < 0.08]). In most treatment groups (ADOL Hc1 at 100 and 10,000 TCID50, ADOL 6803 at 10,000 TCID50, and ADOL 4817 at 100 TCID50), chickens inoculated at DOH had higher incidence of VNAb than that of chickens inoculated at 5 ED (ADOL 6803 at 10,000 TCID50 [P < 0.05], ADOL Hc1 at 100 TCID50 [P < 0.08]). Incidence of ALV J-induced tumors and tumor spectrum were influenced by viral strain, age at inoculation, and VNAb response.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3