Clinical signs, serologic response, viral contents of the trachea and intestine, and histopathological and ultrastructural changes of the tracheal epithelium of Japanese quail experimentally infected with field isolate of H9N2 avian influenza were studied. Vaccinated and unvaccinated quail were inoculated with 106.3 50% embryo infectious dose/bird of A/chicken/Iran/SH-110/99 (H9N2) virus via nasal inoculation. Clinical signs such as depression, ruffled feathers, diarrhea, and nasal and eye discharges were observed 6 days postinfection (PI). No mortality was observed; however, there was reduction in feed and water consumption and egg production. However, the serologic response of vaccinated challenged and unvaccinated challenged birds was not significantly different. Unvaccinated challenged quail showed more severe histopathologic reaction in their lungs and trachea. Hyperemia, edema, infiltration of inflammatory cells, and deciliation and sloughing of the tracheal epithelium were observed. Ultrastructural study showed dilatation of endoplasmic reticulum and degeneration of Golgi apparatus and cilia of the tracheal lining cells of respiratory epithelium.
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Vol. 51 • No. s1