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Pathological observations of an experimental infection of geese with goose circovirus

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There is so far no report describing the pathogenicity of goose circovirus (GoCV) following experimental infection. We report here an experimental inoculation of 21-day-old geese with a GoCV polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive sample of bursa of Fabricius (BF) homogenate, and the results of clinicopathological changes. Forty geese were randomly assigned to two groups: the inoculated group (n=30) receiving tissue homogenate and the uninoculated group (n=10) receiving a placebo (physiological saline). Tissue samples were collected for histopathological examination and GoCV detection. The main clinical signs in the GoCV-inoculated geese included diarrhoea at 17 to 30 days post inoculation, marked differences of growth rate and feather disorders in three of the geese. Viraemia was detected by PCR only at 14 days post inoculation. The BF, thymus, spleen, duodenum and liver of some inoculated geese were also PCR-positive. Real-time PCR showed that there was relatively more viral load in the BF. Histological examination revealed lymphocytic depletion and histiocytosis in the BF and inflammation characterized by lymphatic infiltration in the lung, liver and kidney. Immunohistochemistry applied to PCR-positive samples showed that in only three BF samples was GoCV antigen detected in lymphocytes in both the cortex and medulla. In situ apoptosis detection of all BF samples indicated that GoCV inoculation was associated with an increase in bursal lymphocytic apoptotic events.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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