Authors:R. Glávits, Anna Zolnai, Éva Szabó, Éva Ivanics, P. Zarka, T. Mató, and V. Palya
Parvovirus infection of Muscovy ducks caused by a genetically and antigenically distinct virus has been reported from Germany, France, Israel, Hungary, some Asian countries and the USA. The pathological changes include those of degenerative skeletal muscle myopathy and myocarditis, hepatitis, sciatic neuritis and polioencephalomyelitis. In the study presented here, day-old and 3-week-old goslings and Muscovy ducks were infected experimentally with three different parvovirus strains (isolates of D-216/4 from the classical form of Derzsy's disease, D-190/3 from the enteric form of Derzsy's disease, and strain FM from the parvovirus disease of Muscovy ducks). All three parvovirus strains caused severe disease in both day-old and 3-week-old Muscovy ducks but in the goslings only the two strains of goose origin (D-216/4 and D-190/3) caused disease with high (90-100%) mortality when infection was performed at day old. Strain FM (of Muscovy duck origin) did not cause any clinical signs or pathological lesions in the goslings. In the day-old goslings and Muscovy ducks the principal pathological lesions were severe enteritis with necrosis of the epithelial cells (enterocytes) of the mucous membrane and the crypts of Lieberkühn, and the formation of intranuclear inclusion bodies. Other prominent lesions included hepatitis and atrophy (lymphocyte depletion) of the lymphoid organs (bursa of Fabricius, thymus, spleen). In goslings infected with the strain originating from the classical form of Derzsy's disease mild myocarditis was also detected. After infection at three weeks of age, growth retardation, feathering disorders, myocardial lesions (degeneration of cardiac muscle cells, lympho-histiocytic infiltration) and hepatitis were the most prominent lesions in both geese and Muscovy ducks. In addition to the lesions observed in the geese, muscle fibre degeneration, mild sciatic neuritis and polioencephalomyelitis were also observed in the Muscovy ducks infected with any of the three parvovirus strains.