In this case report, we describe the pathologic changes and the ultrastructural and molecular characteristics of an adenovirus in a sun conure (Aratinga solstitialis) that presented with a history of sudden death. On histologic examination, there was multifocal hepatic and splenic necrosis. Within some hepatocytes and unidentified cells in the spleen, renal interstitial fibroblasts, and ovarian stroma were intranuclear amphophilic inclusion bodies. Electron microscopy of affected tissue showed intranuclear icosahedral viral particles with an inner capsid (29.2–33.8 nm in diameter) and an outer capsid (70.2–71.7 nm in diameter). Next-generation sequencing and BLAST analysis of complementary DNA synthesized from RNA extracted from formalin-fixed tissues showed an adenovirus, designated sun conure adenovirus (SCAdv). A DNA in situ hybridization (ISH) probe, constructed from the SCAdv and similar sequences from GenBank, was also positive in the intranuclear inclusion bodies, whereas standard ISH for psittacine adenovirus 1 was negative. These results show that ancillary diagnostic testing, such as next-generation sequencing, even using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues, along with ISH, can be useful in identifying additional, unknown viruses that show similar pathology to commonly known viruses but do not show up as positive on routine diagnostic tests.
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Vol. 63 • No. 3