Several oncogenic and non-oncogenic isolates of Marek's disease virus (MDV) were inoculated into embryonated eggs on embryonation day (ED) 16 to 18, and embryos or chicks hatching from inoculated eggs were examined for infectious virus and viral internal antigen (VIA) in lymphoid organs. There was no evidence of extensive replication of MDV in any of the embryonic tissues examined. Levels of VIA peaked 4-5 days after chicks hatched. This indicated that MDV remained inactive during embryonation and did not initiate pathogenic events until chicks hatched. Because HVT replicated rapidly in the embryo but MDV did not, in ovo inoculation of HVT simultaneously with oncogenic MDV or several days after MDV resulted in significant protection (P less than 0.025) of hatched chicks against Marek's disease (MD). Little protection was obtained if HVT was given simultaneously with MDV or after MDV to chicks already hatched. The relative susceptibility of the embryo to extensive replication of the vaccine virus but not the challenge virus apparently accounted for protection against MD in chicks hatching from dually infected eggs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology
- General Immunology and Microbiology