Eleven market turkey flocks developed a respiratory disease characterized by coughing, swollen sinuses and nasal discharge. These symptoms first appeared between 3 and 16 days of age. Avian pneumovirus (APV) RNA was detected by reverse transcriptase (RT)–polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in six of six flocks tested. APV was detected by immunohistochemistry in turbinates of three of three affected flocks tested. Virus isolation attempts were negative. Ten of 11 flocks became seropositive on the APV enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Five weeks prior to hatch of these affected market turkeys, several breeder flocks in one geographic area had developed clinical signs and experienced decline in egg production typical of APV infection. In two breeder flocks, acute and convalescent sera indicated APV infection during the period of declining egg production. Attempts to detect APV RNA by RT-PCR from choanal cleft swabs of newly hatched poults were successful. Attempts to isolate the virus from these PCR-positive samples were negative.
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Vol. 46 • No. 1