Newly emergent Turkey arthritis reoviruses (TARVs) have been isolated from cases of lameness in male Turkeys over 10 weeks of age. In a previous study, experimental inoculation of TARV in one-week-old Turkey poults produced lymphocytic tenosynovitis at four weeks post inoculation but without causing clinical lameness. This study was undertaken to determine if TARV infection at an early age can lead to clinical lameness in birds as they age. One-week-old male Turkeys were inoculated orally with a TARV (strain TARV-O'Neil) and monitored for the development of gait defects until 16 weeks of age. At 4, 8,12 and 16 weeks of age, a subset of birds was euthanized followed by the collection of gastrocnemius tendon, digital flexor tendon, and intestines for virus detection by rRT-PCR and for histologic inflammation scoring. Clinical lameness was first displayed in TARV-infected Turkeys at 8 weeks of age and ruptured gastrocnemius tendons with progressive lameness were also seen at 12-16 weeks of age. The virus was detected in gastrocnemius tendon of 4-8- and 12-week-old Turkeys but not in 16-week-old Turkeys. Histologic inflammation scores of tendons at each of the four time points were significantly higher in the virus-inoculated group than in the control group (p < 0.01). Lesions began as lymphocytic tenosynovitis with mild synoviocyte hyperplasia at four weeks of age and progressed to fibrosis as the birds aged. These results demonstrate the potential of TARV to infect young Turkeys and to produce subclinical tenosynovitis that becomes clinically demonstrable as the Turkeys age.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Sharafeldin et al.; licensee BioMed Central.