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Prevalence and molecular characterization of meq in feather follicular epithelial cells of Korean broiler chickens.

Authors
  • Kang, Jung-Won
  • Cho, Sun-Hee
  • Mo, In-Pil
  • Lee, Dong-Woo
  • Kwon, Hyuk-Joon
Type
Published Article
Journal
Virus genes
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2007
Volume
35
Issue
2
Pages
339–345
Identifiers
PMID: 17516161
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Marek's disease (MD) is a highly contagious lymphoproliferative disease of chickens. Meq is the relevant oncogene and four isoforms, long (L)-meq, meq, short (S)-meq and very short (VS)-meq, have been identified. Although MD is important in the poultry industry, the prevalence and molecular properties of Korean MD virus (MDV) among broiler chickens remain unclear. Therefore, we characterized meq in pooled feather tips sampled at 3- and 5-week-old chickens from 21 unvaccinated and 22 vaccinated broiler farms via nested-PCR and nucleotide sequence analysis. Multiple bands consisting of L-meq, meq, and S-meq amplicons were observed in a commercial vaccine (CVI988 + HVT), 1 (4.8%) and 5 samples (22.7%) from unvaccinated and vaccinated farms, respectively. A strong meq amplicon was observed in a MD-related tumor tissue, 6 (28.6%) and 1 (4.5%) samples from unvaccinated and vaccinated farms, respectively. Six and one amplicons from unvaccinated (28.6%) and vaccinated farms (4.5%), respectively, were differentiated from CVI988 by nucleotide sequence analysis. Therefore, the relatively high rate of meq in the unvaccinated broiler farms constitutes support for vaccination. However, the existence of CVI988-related meq in unvaccinated chickens necessitates further study regarding the origins and pathoimmunological effects of the viruses on chickens.

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