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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Gizzard erosions in broiler chickens in Sweden caused by fowl adenovirus serotype 1 (FAdV-1): investigation of outbreaks, including whole-genome sequencing of an isolate

Lindgren, Ylva; Banihashem, Fereshteh; Berg, Mikael; Eriksson, Helena; Zohari, Siamak; Jansson, Desiree S.


The present paper describes the investigation of the first outbreaks of adenoviral gizzard erosions (AGE) in Sweden, in five broiler flocks. The investigation included whole viral genome sequencing and investigation of genomic organization and sequence relationships with other adenoviruses. All five flocks had a history of decreased growth and uneven size of birds since 9-10 days of age. Macroscopically, lesions consistent with AGE (detached koilin layers, discolouration, bleeding, erosions) were identified in gizzards in all five flocks. In four flocks histology was performed, and degeneration and inflammation of the koilin layer and gizzard mucosa were identified in all four. In one flock, intranuclear inclusion bodies typical for fowl adenovirus (FAdV) were detected in trapped epithelial cells in the koilin layer. In four flocks in situ hybridization was performed, and cells positive for FAdV serotype 1 (FAdV-1) were demonstrated in the koilin layer and gizzard mucosa. FAdV species A (FAdV-A) was detected in gizzard, liver, caecal tonsils and bursa of Fabricius by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing. Ten out of ten examined parent flocks of the affected chickens were seropositive for FAdV, indicating former or on-going infection. However, FAdV was not detected in embryos from seropositive parent flocks and thus vertical transmission was not demonstrated. The entire nucleotide sequence of one sample was determined and found to be 43,856 base pairs (bp) in length. The genome sequence and organization were found to be similar to that of the reference apathogenic avian adenovirus "chicken embryo lethal orphan" (CELO).


Adenoviral gizzard erosions; fowl aviadenovirus; FAdV-A; FAdV-1; whole-genome sequencing; broiler chickens

Published in

Avian Pathology
2022, Volume: 51, number: 3, pages: 257-266