Marek’s disease is a significant illness in chickens and a potential threat to the poultry industry worldwide. Marek’s disease virus (MDV) causes immunosuppression and lymphoproliferative disease in chickens, but the turkey is an unusual host for the virus, and tumors caused by MDV in turkeys are unique. This study sampled 15 asymptomatic commercial turkey flocks (five spleens from each flock) at slaughter. Gallid alphaherpesvirus 2 (GaHV-2) was identified by PCR of spleen samples of two flocks. A phylogenetic analysis of the Meq gene was also performed. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the turkey GaHV-2 had genetic similarity with GaHV-2 strains recently detected in the Iranian commercial layer and breeder turkey flocks. This is the first time MDV has been detected in turkey flocks of Iran, and therefore, further assays including experimental inoculation to demonstrate pathotype characteristics in vivo are needed.

You do not currently have access to this content.