Immunosuppressive effects and pathogenicity of a Korean isolate of reticuloendotheliosis virus in chickens

Reticuloendotheliosis virus의 닭에 대한 면역억제효과와 병원성

  • Han, Myung-guk (Avian Disease Division, National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service) ;
  • Kim, Sun-joong (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University)
  • 한명국 (국립수의과학검역원 조류질병과) ;
  • 김선중 (서울대학교 수의과대학 조류질병학교실)
  • Accepted : 2000.04.24
  • Published : 2000.06.25


Immunosuppressive effects of reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) infection in chickens were investigated. Primary antibody responses to Newcastle disease virus (strain B1) and sheep red blood cells were significantly low in chickens inoculated with the local isolate 89-74 of REV compared to those of uninfected chickens. In chickens infected with REV strain T or 89-74, blastogenesis of spleen cells and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) to concanavalin A (Con A) was severely suppressed. When specific pathogen free (SPF) chickens were inoculated with the isolate, the suppressive effect was observed up to 7 weeks of age while, in the contact infected chickens, the suppression was absent. Similar suppressive effects were observed in chickens inoculated with REV strain T at 2, 3 and 4 weeks of age. When spleen cells or PBL from uninfected chickens were co-cultured with spleen cells or PBL from chickens infected with REV at 1 day-old or 2 week-old, the blastogenesis of the normal cells was suppressed. The suppressive effect of PBL from REV-infected chickens on normal lymphocytes was abrogated by the treatment with trypsin. However the suppressive activity of the REV-infected PBL was not influenced at removing machrophage from the cell suspension by incubation in plastic petri dishes. In addition to the immunosuppression, chickens infected with the REV isolate showed abnormal feather development (nakanuke), anemia, paralysis and retarded growth. Three out of 11 chickens inoculated with the isolate at day-old died between 6 and 9 weeks of age by bacterial infections.