Characterisation of fowl adenovirus (FAdV-8b) strain concerning the geographic analysis and pathological lesions associated with inclusion body hepatitis in broiler flocks in Turkey

Introduction: Fowl adenovirus can cause important diseases in chickens such as inclusion body hepatitis, hepatitis hydropericardium syndrome, and gizzard erosion and ulceration. Inclusion body hepatitis has been regularly reported from many countries. This is the first case report from Turkey, describing an outbreak of inclusion body hepatitis in broiler farms due to fowl adenovirus-8b (FAdV-8b). Material and Methods: Broiler flocks with mortality about 10% were visited in Turkey, and necropsy was performed on dead birds. Samples were subjected to PCR assay to detect FAdV and other viral pathogens. After sequencing, phylogenetic analysis was performed and the nucleotide sequences of hexon genes were compared with the FAdV sequences data available in GenBank. Results: Clinical signs such as anorexia, depression, ruffled feathers, huddling, and greenish diarrhoea were observed. Mortality started at the 8th day of age and ranged from 10% to 14%. Necropsy showed severe hepatitis, jaundice, and pancreatitis. The main necropsy findings included a pale, enlarged, haemorrhagic, and friable liver along with swollen and haemorrhagic kidneys and spleen. PCR and sequence analysis revealed the presence of fowl adenovirus serotype 8b (FAdV-E). Conclusion: This is the first report on characterisation and the pathological lesions associated with FAdV in broilers in Turkey. Our findings suggest that FAdV strains could be an emerging pathogen in Turkish broilers and could actively contribute to hepatitis and immunosuppression.

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