AbstractMarek’s disease (MD) is one of the most significant neoplastic diseases of poultry caused by Marek’s disease virus (MDV), an oncogenic avian herpesvirus which is responsible for great economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. MD is being manifested as an acute disease with lymphomas in multiple visceral organs. In the present study, an outbreak of MD was investigated in one of the poultry farms from Andhra Pradesh, India. The gross lesions in the affected birds included lymphomas in different visceral organs like liver, spleen, proventriculus, heart and ovaries. Histopathology revealed presence of uniform lymphoblastoid cell infiltration typical of MD. The isolation of the virus was carried out in duck embryo fibroblast cells. After three blind passages, the cell cultures revealed plaque formation typical of MDV. Further confirmation of the virus was carried out by PCR targeting 132 bp repeats of serotype‑1 MDV and the oncogenes Meq and vIL‑8 were amplified and sequenced. The nucleotide and phylogenetic analysis of the virus confirmed the virus as virulent serotype‑ 1 MDV. The present outbreak suggests the need for change in the vaccination regimen of MD vaccination with appropriate serotype‑ 1 MD vaccines in Indian poultry flocks as the HVT and bivalent vaccines are unable to protect the flocks against virulent MDV.
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