Specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens were exposed to the IM and VA isolates of virulent infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV). Both viruses induced rapidly progressing lymphoid cell depletion in the bursa. The bursal lesions persisted through the observation period of 16 days. The virus-exposed birds also had histologic lesions in the thymus. Thymic lesions peaked at 3-4 days postinoculation (PI) and then subsided. Immunofluorescence (IF) and antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) detected abundant viral antigen in the bursa, but not in the thymus, of chickens during the first week after infection with IM-IBDV or VA-IBDV. This result indicated that the presence of histologic lesions in the thymus was not associated with active infection and replication of the virus in thymic cells. Inoculation of homogenates of bursal and thymic tissues from virus-exposed chickens into embryonated chicken eggs revealed the presence of infectious virus from both tissues. We speculated that the virus recovered from thymus may have been contributed by virus-infected cells that were circulating through the thymus at the time when this tissue was homogenized.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)