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Helping Turkeys Breathe Easier

by 5m Editor
21 November 2003, at 12:00am

US - Early detection of avian metapneumovirus in turkey flocks would allow producers to take action that would reduce potential losses in young birds. At around 6-12 weeks of age, they are especially vulnerable to an upper respiratory illness called turkey rhinotracheitis.

Helping Turkeys Breathe Easier - US - Early detection of avian metapneumovirus in turkey flocks would allow producers to take action that would reduce potential losses in young birds. At around 6-12 weeks of age, they are especially vulnerable to an upper respiratory illness called turkey rhinotracheitis.

Something like a bad cold, it makes them cough and sneeze and results in swollen sinuses and nasal discharge. Chicken and turkey flocks around the world are vulnerable, but it seems to often be reported in turkeys in Minnesota and several European countries.

Although avian metapneumovirus isn't very virulent by itself, it can lead to severe respiratory disease and weight loss in birds exposed to other pathogens or to Newcastle disease vaccines.

Now researchers have identified an important gene sequence that can help identify and differentiate avian metapneumovirus. Previously unrecorded in genetic databases, the sequence could be used to develop a diagnostic detection kit.

Early detection would allow better timing of Newcastle disease virus vaccination to prevent this complication. A patent application for the gene sequence was filed in November 2002, and the technology is available for licensing.

Source: USDA Agricultural Research Service, Agricultural Research Magazine - 21st November 2003

5m Editor