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Determination and Analysis of the Poultry Gut Viral Metagenome

by 5m Editor
14 June 2011, at 12:00am

New research is helping to identify the pathogen(s) causing poult enteric disease syndrome.


Poultry enteric disease is an ongoing economic problem for the poultry industry, according to Dr Michael Day of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, in a report of research sponsored by the US Poultry & Egg Association.

The following symptoms are related to this recognised enteric disease syndrome: Poult Enteritis Complex (PEC), Poult Enteritis Mortality Syndrome (PEMS) and Runting-Stunting Syndrome (RSS).

Although decades of research have implicated the above symptoms and other viruses, a definite cause of this disease remains unknown. Using state-of-the-art nucleic acid sequencing, research was conducted to determine the full genomic profile of organisms found in the gut environment. New novel viruses were identified.

It is possible that some of these uncharacterised viruses may play specific roles in the poult enteric disease syndrome and production losses. Many RNA viruses have capsid diameters and correlate with the unclassified 'small round viruses' previously implicated in enteric disease in chickens and turkeys.

This research has revealed a number of novel enteric viruses that may play roles in the enteric disease syndromes and that may adversely affect poultry performance in general.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on this syndrome by clicking here.


June 2011