Detection and molecular characterization of astroviruses in turkeys

Azad Singh, Sunil K. Mor, Naresh Jindal, Devi Patnayak, Nader M. Sobhy, Nhungoc Ti Luong, Sagar M. Goyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and molecular characteristics of turkey astrovirus 1 (TAstV-1) and avian nephritis virus (ANV) in turkeys with light turkey syndrome (LTS), which is characterized by lower body weight in market-age turkeys than their standard breed character. We collected pools of fecal samples from four LTS and two non-LTS turkey flocks in Minnesota at 2, 3, 5 and 8 weeks of age. Of the 80 LTS pools tested, 16 (20.0 %) and 11 (13.8 %) were positive for TAstV-1 and ANV, respectively. For non-LTS flocks, these numbers were 8 (20.0 %) and 5 (12.5 %), respectively. The maximum number of birds was positive at five weeks of age. We also tested 130 fecal samples of poult enteritis syndrome (PES) cases submitted to the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and found 19 and 11 positive for TAstV-1 and ANV, respectively. RdRp gene sequences were determined for a total of 29 TAstV-1 and 22 ANV samples. Phylogenetic analysis of the RdRp gene revealed 92-100 % and 88-100 % nucleotide sequence identity among TAstV-1 and ANV sequences, respectively. A large number of nucleotide and amino acid substitutions were observed in LTS and PES flocks than in non-LTS flocks. One of the PES sequences grouped with ANV-like sequences detected in chickens, indicating that regular screening of birds should be continued. Further, complete genome analysis should be conducted to determine whether this virus is a novel divergent strain or a recombinant of chicken and turkey ANV-like viruses. The detection of TAstV-1 and ANV in a considerable number of non-LTS cases emphasizes the need for further studies on the transmission pattern and pathogenesis of these viruses to determine their role as pathogens of turkeys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-946
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Wien.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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