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  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1581 Budapest, P.O. Box 18, Hungary
  • 2 DLO Institute of Animal Science and Health, Lelystad, The Netherlands
  • 3 Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
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The pathogenesis of chicken infectious anaemia virus (CAV) infection was studied in 6-week-old and one-day-old SPF chickens inoculated intramuscularly with graded doses of Cux-1 strain (106−102 TCID50/chicken). Viraemia, virus shedding, development of virus neutralizing (VN) antibodies and CAV distribution in the thymus were studied by virus isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), immunocytochemistry (IP) and in situ hybridization until postinfection day (PID) 28. In 6-week-old chickens infected with high doses of CAV, viraemia and VN antibodies could be detected 4 PID and onward without virus shedding or contact transmission to sentinel birds. However, virus shedding and contact transmission were demonstrated in one-day-old infected chickens. In the 6-weekold groups infected with lower doses, VN antibodies developed by PID 14, transient viraemia and virus shedding were detected. The thymus cortex of all 1-dayold inoculated chickens stained with VP3-specific mAb. Cells with positive in situ hybridization signal were fewer and scattered throughout the thymus tissue of the one-day-old inoculated chickens as compared to IP-positive cells. These results suggest that early immune response induced by high doses of CAV in 6-week-old chickens curtails viral replication and prevents virus shedding.

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