Insights on epidemiology and control of Marek’s disease through traditional and novel molecular tools

Mescolini, Giulia (2022) Insights on epidemiology and control of Marek’s disease through traditional and novel molecular tools, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze veterinarie, 34 Ciclo.
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Marek's disease (MD) is a contagious, lymphoproliferative and neuropathic disease of poultry caused by a ubiquitous lymphotropic and oncogenic virus, Gallid alphaherpesvirus 2 (GaHV-2). MD has been reported in all poultry-rearing countries and is among the viral diseases with the highest economic impact in the poultry industry worldwide, including Italy. MD has been also recognized as one of the leading causes of mortality in backyard poultry. The present doctoral thesis aimed at exploring Marek's disease virus molecular epidemiology in Italian commercial and backyard chicken flocks and, for the first time, in commercial turkeys affected by clinical MD. Molecular biology techniques targeting the full-length meq gene, the major GaHV-2 oncogene, were used to detect and characterize the circulating GaHV-2 strains searching for genetic markers of virulence. A final study focused on the development of rapid, sensitive, and species-specific loop-mediated isothermal amplification assays coupled with a lateral flow device readout for the detection of conventional and recombinant HVT-based vaccines is included in the thesis. HVT vaccines, currently used to protect chickens from MD, are referred to as "leaky", as they do not impede the infection, replication, and shedding of field GaHV-2: vaccinal and field viruses can coexist in the vaccinated host and molecular tests able to discriminate between GaHV-2 and HVT are required. These new simple, fast, and accurate tests for the monitoring of MD vaccination success in the field could be greatly beneficial for field veterinarians, small laboratories, and more broadly for resource-limited settings.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Mescolini, Giulia
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Marek’s disease virus, Gallid alphaherpesvirus 2, meq gene, molecular characterization, strain virulence, backyard chickens, commercial chickens, turkeys, Italy, herpesvirus of turkeys, LAMP-LFD, FC126, Vaxxitek®
Data di discussione
16 Giugno 2022

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