Pathogenic and immunosuppressive effects of avian pneumovirus in turkeys

Parag Chary, Silke Rautenschlein, M. K. Njenga, Jagdev M. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Avian pneumovirus (APV) causes a respiratory disease in turkeys. The virus has been associated with morbidity and mortality due to secondary infections. Our objective was to determine if APV caused immunosuppression in the T-cell or B-cell compartments and to study the pathogenesis of the disease in APV maternal antibody-lacking 2-wk-old commercial turkeys. APV was administered by the eyedrop/intranasal route. Observations were made for gross lesions, viral genome, and T-cell mitogenesis and cytokine secretion at 3, 5, 7, 14, and 21 days postinoculation (DPI). During the acute phase of the disease that lasted for about 1 wk, the turkeys exposed to APV showed clinical signs characterized by nasal discharge and sinus swelling. Virus genome was detected by in situ hybridization in cells of turbinates and trachea at 3 and 5 DPI. At 3 and 5 DPI, spleen cells of the birds infected with APV markedly decreased proliferative response to concanavalin A (Con A). Con A and lipopolysaccharide stimulation of spleen cells from virus-exposed turkeys resulted in accumulation of nitric oxide-inducing factors (NOIF) in the culture fluid. NOIF were not detected in culture fluids of Con A-stimulated spleen cells of virus-free turkeys. APV did not compromise the antibody-producing ability of turkeys against several extraneous antigens such as Brucella abortus and tetanus toxoid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Avian metapneumovirus
  • Turkey
  • Turkey rhinotracheitis virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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