Tissue tropism and latency of infectious laryngotracheitis virus: A study in the natural host
AffiliationVeterinary and Agricultural Sciences Collected Works
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2022-03-24. This item is currently available to University of Melbourne staff and students only, login required.
© 2019 Dulari Samanthika Thilakarathne
Herpesviruses are evolutionarily successful pathogens that infect a large number of animal species. This success is partly attributed to their capacity to establish latency in the host. The avian alphaherpesvirus infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV) causes an acute upper respiratory tract infection in chickens that has considerable impacts on world poultry economy and welfare. The disease caused by ILTV, infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT), is currently controlled by vaccination principally with live attenuated vaccines. Limitations associated with live attenuated vaccines, including the ability to establish latency, may provide avenues for the emergence of novel, more virulent, recombinant strains of ILTV, further complicating the epidemiology of ILTV. In this project, a sensitive nested polymerase chain reaction (NPCR) protocol was developed and the sensitivity of this assay was compared with that of other commonly used PCRs in ILTV research. A trigeminal ganglia (TG) co-culture system was established and optimised and a tracheal co-culture system was reproduced to study in vitro reactivation of latent ILTV. A genotyping system based on allelic variations in multiple genomic regions of ILTV to discriminate ILTV strains prevalent in Victoria, Australia, is also described. These methodologies revealed that a large proportion of the ILTV-vaccinated birds in a commercial layer flock, close to the end of their productive laying period, were shedding multiple vaccine strains of ILTV in the upper respiratory tract, presumably due to reactivation of latent infection. Further, co-culture systems showed in vitro reactivation of latent ILTV in TG and trachea of these birds. The capacity of four vaccine strains of ILTV (SA2, A20, Serva and a glycoprotein G deleted mutant vaccine candidate) to establish latency in specific pathogen free chicken (SPF) following eye-drop vaccination was investigated in vivo. This study revealed ILTV vaccines differed in their capacities to establish latency in TG, and also showed that nearly half of the population had detectable ILTV in their upper respiratory tract (URT), 21 days post vaccination, possibly due to reactivation of infection. A second in vivo experiment was performed to study latency characteristics and late systemic lymphocyte responses in SPF chickens following intratracheal inoculation with a vaccine ILTV (SA2) or a virulent field ILTV (class 9; CL9) strain. Results from this study indicated that latency characteristics did not significantly differ between these strains at 21 days post inoculation (dpi) or at 35 dpi, and suggested that the trachea may be a more significant site of latency and reactivation than the TG. Moreover, regardless of the ILTV strain inoculated, SPF birds showed lymphocytosis during the latent stage of infection. Additionally, tissue tropism of two newly emerged recombinant strains of ILTV (CL9 and class 10; CL10) was investigated using commercial broiler and SPF chickens. The possibility of using feathers as a diagnostic sample was explored. This study revealed that both CL9 and CL10 ILTV strains caused severe disease in both types of birds, distributed to visceral organs and persisted for up to 14 dpi in URT. The NPCR developed in this project detected ILTV DNA in feathers of infected broiler and SPF birds at 14 dpi. Taken together, these studies have shown that tissue tropism and latency is a complex area of research and to a large extent these properties are strain dependent. The studies reported in this thesis have enriched the literature on tissue tropism and latency of ILTV. The results will be valuable for future latency studies and for selection of vaccines to control ILTV.
KeywordsInfectious laryngotracheitis virus; Live attenuated vaccines; Molecular methods to detect latency; Co-culture methods for in-vitro reactivation; Recombinant strains; Tissue tropism
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format" and choose "open with... Endnote".
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format". Login to Refworks, go to References => Import References