A reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) procedure was evaluated for detection of chicken proventricular necrosis virus (CPNV) in transmissible viral proventriculitis (TVP) –affected chickens. The RT-PCR procedure was compared with indirect immunofluorescence (IFA) and virus isolation for detection of CPNV in experimentally infected chickens. Microscopic lesions characteristic of TVP were detected on days 5–35 postexposure (PE) in CPNV-infected chickens; CPNV was detected by RT-PCR on days 3–14 PE in freshly collected proventriculi, and on days 1–14 PE in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) proventriculi. CPNV was detected in proventriculi of experimentally infected chickens by IFA on days 3–10 PE, and by virus isolation on days 1–14 PE. With IFA used as a reference, sensitivity of the RT-PCR procedure with freshly collected and FFPE proventriculi was 88% and 100%, respectively; specificity was 83% and 86%, respectively. Proventriculi (FFPE) obtained from suspect TVP cases (n = 19) were evaluated for presence of CPNV by RT-PCR and microscopic lesions consistent with TVP. CPNV was detected by RT-PCR in proventriculi from 8/11 TVP ( ) cases (24/36 tissue sections). TVP ( ) cases were defined by microscopic lesions characteristic of TVP; CPNV was not detected in proventriculi (0/8 cases, 0/32 tissue sections) in the absence of these lesions. The association between presence of TVP-characteristic microscopic lesions and presence of CPNV was highly significant (P = 0.0014). These findings indicate the utility of the RT-PCR procedure for detection of CPNV and provide additional evidence for an etiologic role for this virus in TVP.
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Vol. 55 • No. 1