Pathobiology of triple reassortant H3N2 influenza viruses in breeder turkeys and its potential implication for vaccine studies in turkeys

S. P.S. Pillai, M. Pantin-Jackwood, S. J. Jadhao, D. L. Suarez, L. Wang, H. M. Yassine, Y. M. Saif, C. W. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Triple reassortant (TR) H3N2 influenza viruses have been isolated from turkeys in the United States since 2003. These TR H3N2 virus infections have been associated with drastic declines in egg production in breeder turkeys although co-infection with multiple agents could have been responsible for exacerbating the clinical signs. In this study, we experimentally confirmed that TR H3N2 influenza virus alone can cause drastic reduction/complete cessation of egg production and pathology of the reproductive tract in 26-week-old breeder turkeys. We confirmed high levels of virus replication and abundant distribution of avian specific α2,3 sialic acid-galactose receptors in the oviduct of these turkeys. Although 2-6-week-old turkeys are routinely used for pathogenicity and vaccine protection studies, the low levels of viral shedding and asymptomatic infections in this age group often pose difficulty in interpretation of results. Our study shows that breeder turkeys should be used to assess the potential pathogenicity of TR H3N2 viruses and the viral titers and pathology of the oviduct as well as egg production data can be good measures of protection following in vivo challenge in vaccine efficacy studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-824
Number of pages6
JournalVaccine
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 5 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breeder turkeys
  • H3N2
  • Influenza
  • Triple reassortants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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  • Cite this

    Pillai, S. P. S., Pantin-Jackwood, M., Jadhao, S. J., Suarez, D. L., Wang, L., Yassine, H. M., Saif, Y. M., & Lee, C. W. (2009). Pathobiology of triple reassortant H3N2 influenza viruses in breeder turkeys and its potential implication for vaccine studies in turkeys. Vaccine, 27(6), 819-824. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.11.076