This report describes an outbreak of transmissible viral proventriculitis (TVP) associated with runting stunting syndrome (RSS) in 25- and 28-day-old broiler chickens, in which chicken proventricular necrosis virus (CNPV) was detected. Clinical signs included poor uniformity, very small birds for their age, increased mortality, and culling of smaller birds. Almost all birds necropsied exhibited moderate to severely enlarged proventriculi with diffusely pale serosa and thickened walls. Microscopically the proventriculi had lesions of degeneration and necrosis of the epithelium of the proventricular glands, accompanied by lymphocytic inflammation and glandular hyperplasia, with occasional formation of lymphoid nodules within the glandular parenchyma. Immunohistochemistry staining for CPNV was positive. Positive staining was generally found in the cytoplasm of glandular epithelial cells in the form of finely granular brown pigment. CPNV RNA was detected in the proventriculi by reverse transcriptase–PCR (RT-PCR). Other findings included mild enteritis in a few birds and small bursa of Fabricius. Direct electron microscopy performed on the intestinal samples was negative for viral particles. RT-PCR analysis of bursae was positive for infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV). In conclusion, this report associates TVP with RSS by describing an outbreak in which TVP attributable to CPNV was the most commonly found lesion in chickens with a clinical history compatible with RSS. Therefore, TVP should be considered as a possible differential diagnosis in cases compatible with RSS.
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Vol. 59 • No. 3