Turkey coronavirus

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turkey coronavirus
Virus classification
Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
turkey coronavirus

Turkey coronaviruses are members of the family Coronaviridae that infect turkeys, especially poults, leading to gastrointestinal disease. Viruses include turkey enteritis virus and bluecomb disease virus. Transmission is horizontal via the faeces, and can be direct or indirectly spread by fomites.

Disease has been noted in North America, Europe and Brazil.

Avian infectious bronchitis is a closely related disease.

Clinical signs and diagnosis[edit]

Gastrointestinal disease appears as diarrhoea, anorexia and lethargy. Most of the birds in a group are usually affected and their overall appearance is of darkened skin and ruffled feathers. In the US, a turkey coronavirus is one of the pathogens responsible for the Poult Enteritis and Mortality Syndrome (PEMS) in birds under the age of one month. Recovered birds are immune for life but may become carriers.

Necropsy, histology, indirect immunofluorescence, immunoperoxidase staining, ELISA and PCR can all be used for diagnosis.

Treatment and control[edit]

Supportive therapy can be given, including heat lamps, antibiotics, and milk replacer.

It is recommended that turkey farms be depopulated in the event of an outbreak.