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  • 1 Shandong Agricultural University College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine Taian 271018 China
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An outbreak of simultaneously occurring haemangiomas, leiomyosarcoma and myeloma was observed in a commercial layer flock in China. The sick chickens were extremely thin and dehydrated. Scattered haemangiomas were found on the claws, breast and wings. At necropsy, haemangiomas and some other nodular tumours were also found in the internal organs. In addition, diffuse enlargement of the liver and spleen appeared in some birds. Histopathologically, haemangiomas were typically cavernous haemangiomas and haemangioendothelioma. In the diffusely swollen liver and spleen, multifocal or widespread marrow tumour cells filled with ball-like acidophilic particles in cytosol were observed, which are the characteristic pathological changes of avian myelocytomatosis. The nodular tumour cells formed by muscle bundles were of variable size, irregular shape, poorly differentiated and malaligned. Immunohistochemistry for vimentin, cytokeratin, actin (smooth muscle) and actin (sarcomeric) and Masson’s staining confirmed the different cell lineage of the nodular tumour, thus leading to the diagnosis of leiomyosarcoma. The seroprevalence of avian leukosis subgroup J (ALV-J) antibodies was 13.46% (7/52), while ALV-A/B and reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) antibodies were not detectable. The DF-1 cells inoculated by virus extracted from liver samples from 24 infected chickens were cultured and the group-specific antigen (GSA) was identified by ELISA. All samples were positive for ALV, which was further identified as ALV-J by immunofluorescence assay (IFA). PCR analysis revealed that three isolates of ALV-J proviral sequence were close to the HPRS-103 prototype strain and other Chinese field strains isolated in recent years, while one isolate (DP01) had a lower homology with them. This is the first report that ALV-J infection caused the simultaneous occurrence of haemangiomas, leiomyosarcoma and myeloma in a commercial layer flock.

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