Induction of lymphomas and tumor antigen by Marek's disease virus in turkeys.

A. K. Elmubarak, J. M. Sharma, R. L. Witter, K. Nazerian, V. L. Sanger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Pathogenic Marek's disease (MD) virus (MDV) induced a high incidence of mortality and gross and microscopic lesions in turkey poults. Inoculated turkey poults became persistently viremic with MDV, although the levels of detectable circulating MDV were generally lower in turkeys than in similarly inoculated chickens. The early lytic phase of MD characterized by lymphoid cell destruction and the appearance of viral antigen in lymphoid organ was not as prominent in turkeys as in chickens. Gross MD lesions in turkeys were most prevalent in liver and spleen; peripheral nerves were involved infrequently. MD tumors in turkeys contained cells that reacted with antiserum prepared against chicken MD-tumor-associated surface antigen (MATSA); this result indicated that MDV induced cellular transformation in turkeys and the tumor-associated antigen in chicken and turkeys cross-reacted. Several in vitro-propagating B-cell lines were developed from the turkey lymphomas. As in chickens, MD in turkeys also resulted in immunodepression. Circulating lymphocytes from turkeys that eventually died of MD or had gross tumors at the end of the experiment were deficient in mitogenic response to Concanavalin A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-926
Number of pages16
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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