Avian adenovirus

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Avian adenovirus
Virus classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Family: Adenoviridae
Genus: Aviadenovirus
Type species
Fowl adenovirus A

Aviadenoviruses are adenoviruses that affect birds - particularly chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and pheasants. There are currently eight species in this genus including the type species Fowl aviadenovirus A. Viruses in this genus cause specific disease syndromes such as Quail Bronchitis (QB), Egg Drop Syndrome (EDS), Haemorrhagic Enteritis (HE), Pheasant Marble Spleen Disease (MSD), Falcon adenovirus A and Inclusion Body Hepatitis (IBH). Avian adenoviruses have a worldwide distribution and it is common to find multiple species on a single farm. The most common serogroups are serogroup 1, 2 and 3.


No evidence of transmission from birds to humans has been identified. The virus is mainly spread horizontally by the oro-fecal route, but vertical transmission can occur in serogroup 1. Once it has infected the bird the virus may remain latent until a period of stress, when it may then cause clinical disease.

Clinical signs and diagnosis[edit]

Infections are normally subclinical, however clinical disease can occur - especially in young birds as maternal antibody levels begin to wane.

Clinical signs are related to the organ affected.

Signs of gastrointestinal disease (Haemorrhagic Enteritis) include diarrhea, anorexia, melena and hematochezia. Anaemia and dehydration may develop secondary to this haemorrhagic enteritis. Signs of reproductive disease (Egg Drop Syndrome) include low egg production/hatching and the laying of abnormal eggs (size, shape, colour, texture). Adenovirus infection may infect other organs, causing a splenitis, inclusion body hepatitis, bronchitis, pulmonary congestion ventriculitis, pancreatitis, or oedema, depending on the species of bird infected.

Diagnosis of aviadenovirus is by histopathology, electron microscopy, viral isolation and ELISA. In addition, virus antigen can be detected double immunodiffusion. Postmortem examination may reveal a variety of clinical signs relating directly to the organ affected. Specifically, Egg Drop Syndrome can be diagnosed by hemagglutinin inhibition and the virus causes haemagglutination in chickens and ducks.

Treatment and control[edit]

Vaccines for HE and EDS are available (ATCvet codes: QI01AA05 (WHO) for the inactivated vaccine, QI01AD05 (WHO) for the live vaccine, plus various combinations). Disease incidence may be reduced by minimising stress levels, using appropriate hygiene measures and providing adequate nutrition.


Group: dsDNA



Viruses in Aviadenovirus are non-enveloped, with icosahedral geometries, and T=25 symmetry. The diameter is around 90 nm. Genomes are linear and non-segmented, around 35-36kb in length and have a guanine/cytosine content of 53–59%. The genome codes for 40 proteins. [2]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic arrangement Genomic segmentation
Aviadenovirus Polyhedral Pseudo T=50 Non-enveloped Linear Monopartite

Life cycle[edit]

Viral replication is nuclear. Entry into the host cell is achieved by attachment of the viral fiber glycoproteins to host receptors, which mediates endocytosis. Replication follows the DNA strand displacement model. DNA-templated transcription, with some alternative splicing mechanism is the method of transcription. The virus exits the host cell by nuclear envelope breakdown, viroporins, and lysis. Birds serve as the natural host.[2]

Genus Host details Tissue tropism Entry details Release details Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Aviadenovirus Birds None Glycoprotiens Lysis Nucleus Nucleus Unknown


  1. ^ ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 

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