The pathologic consequences of chicken anemia virus (CAV) oral inoculation in 4-wk-old broiler breeders of different major histocompatibility B complex (MHC) genotypes were evaluated. MHC B complex was determined by hemagglutination and sequence-based typing. Clinical signs, serology, gross lesions, histopathologic analysis, and CAV genome quantification were used to evaluate disease progression. Clinical disease was not apparent in the inoculated broilers throughout the experimental period. At 14 days postinoculation, antibodies against CAV were detected in 26.4% (29/110) of the inoculated birds. The distribution of percent positive was 34.6% (9/26) and 32.3% (10/31) of the chickens with B A9/A9 and B A9/A4 MHC genotypes, respectively, and seroconversion in six other genotypes was 19% (10/53). These differences among MHC genotypes for specific seroconversion rate were not statistically significant. CAV genomes were detected in the thymus of 87.7% (93/110) of the inoculated birds with no statistically significant differences between MHC genotypes. Mild thymic lymphocytolysis, lymphedema, and medullary hemorrhage were observed in the inoculated chickens. Histomorphometric analysis showed that cortical lymphocyte-to-parenchyma ratios did not differ between inoculated and uninoculated groups or among MHC genotypes. Similar findings have been reported previously in white-leghorn chickens of similar age, suggesting that broilers show a similar resistance to the effects of CAV infection at this age. The absence of significant clinical and pathological changes in the orally inoculated broilers at this age contrasts with CAV-associated thymus damage seen frequently in condemned commercial broilers at harvest.
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Vol. 49 • No. 4