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Characterization of turkey coronavirus from turkey poults with acute enteritis

Characterization of turkey coronavirus from turkey poults with acute enteritis

Veterinary Microbiology 84(1-2): 179-186

The present study was to characterize turkey coronavirus associated with turkey poult enteritis and mortality. Intestinal contents or intestines from affected turkey poults and inoculated turkey embryos contained coronaviruses as revealed by electron microscopy or were positive for turkey coronavirus by immunofluorescent antibody assay. Sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation of the virus-containing intestinal homogenate yielded two opalescent bands corresponding to the buoyant densities of 1.14-1.15 and 1.18-1.20 g/ml, respectively. Coronaviral particles from intestinal contents or the sucrose density gradient preparation were mainly spherical in shape and had envelope and central depression. They were surrounded by a fringe of regularly spaced petal-shaped projections attached to the particles by a short stalk. Purified viruses hemagglutinated rabbit erythrocytes with a titer of 16. Major protein bands of purified viruses analyzed by SDS-PAGE were located at 200, 100-110, 50-60, and 30-35 kDa. The patterns of protein bands were consistent with those of Minnesota or Quebec turkey coronavirus isolates. A 568 bp nucleotide fragment of turkey coronavirus spike protein gene was amplified from RNA of inoculated turkey embryo intestine or purified virus. Sequence analysis of the 568 bp PCR product revealed high degree of identity with the corresponding spike protein gene sequence of human and bovine coronaviruses. The results indicated that turkey coronavirus was associated with turkey poults with acute enteritis.

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Accession: 045495177

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PMID: 11731170

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