The in vitro propagation of stunting syndrome agent

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Title The in vitro propagation of stunting syndrome agent
Author(s) A. Ali, D. L. Reynolds
Journal Avian Diseases
Date 1998
Volume 42
Issue 4
Start page 657
End page 666
Abstract Stunting syndrome (SS) is a viral enteric disease of turkey poults. The aetiologic agent (stunting syndrome agent [SSA]) of this disease has been reported recently. In vitro propagation of SSA was examined in primary cells, various continuous cell lines, and embryonated eggs. Turkey embryos inoculated into the amniotic cavity at 24-25 days of incubation were susceptible to SSA infection. The jejunal maltase activity of SSA-inoculated turkey embryos was significantly (P ≤ 0.001) lower than that of control embryos. D-xylose absorption was also altered in SSA-infected turkey embryos. The extent of reduction of D-xylose absorption and maltase activity in the infected embryos was nearly identical to that seen in day-old poults infected with SSA. The intestines from the infected turkey embryos were pale, thin walled, and distended with fluid. Electron microscopic examination of the intestinal fluid and epithelial cell lysate of infected embryos showed pleomorphic membraned SSA viral particles. SSA that had been serially passaged in turkey embryos retained its ability to induce SSA in day-old poults. Not all the primary and continuous cells tested supported the replication of SSA as shown by cytopathic effects, electron microscopy, and turkey embryo inoculation. Inoculation of chicken embryos by various routes failed to support SSA. All routes of inoculation, other than the amniotic route at 24-25 days, failed to support SSA in turkey embryos. These results indicate that the SSA was successfully propagated in turkey embryos that developed changes in embryo intestinal absorption and digestive enzyme activity similar to poults with SS. Successful propagation of SSA in turkey embryos should prove beneficial for future studies including characterization of SSA, prevention and control strategies, and enteric disease modeling.

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