In situ production of interferon in tissues of chickens exposed as embryos to turkey herpesvirus and Marek's disease virus.

J. M. Sharma

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Chicken eggs at embryonation day (ED) 18 or newly hatched chicks were inoculated with turkey herpesvirus (HVT), Marek's disease virus (MDV), or virus-free diluent and, at intervals after inoculation, tissue homogenates of virus-exposed and virus-free chickens or chicken embryos were examined for interferon (IFN) activity. Homogenates of lung, thymus and spleen specimens from chickens given HVT at ED 18 had IFN activity. Activity of IFN in the lungs was studied further. Homogenates of lung specimens from chickens exposed to HVT at hatching also had IFN activity, although the concentration of IFN was lower than that in chickens given HVT at ED 18. The pathogenic isolates of MDV (JM-MDV), but not the attenuated (Md11/75C-MDV) or nonpathogenic (SB1-MDV) isolates, inoculated at ED 18 also induced high lung IFN activity. Exposure to a combination of HVT and SB1-MDV induced IFN activity comparable with that in chickens given HVT alone. The IFN activity in homogenates of lung specimens from virus-exposed chickens was species specific and heat and pH stable, but was destroyed by trypsin treatment. Occasionally, low IFN activity also was detected in homogenates of tissue specimens from virus-free chickens or chicken embryos. This IFN activity could have been produced constitutively or may have been induced by substances (inducers) in the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-886
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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