A herpesvirus (GHV 552/89) associated with high mortality in a flock of domestic geese in Australia was compared with duck virus enteritis (DVE) herpesvirus by cross-protection studies in domestic geese, Muscovy ducks and commercial Pekin ducks. In DVE-vaccinated geese, Muscovy ducks and Pekin ducks, mortality levels of 100, 50 and 0%, respectively, were recorded following challenge with GHV 552/89. Conversely, in geese, Muscovy ducks and Pekin ducks immunized with inactivated GHV 552/89, 100% mortality was observed in the geese and Muscovy ducks, and 80% in the Pekin ducks following challenge with DVE virus. The isolate was also compared with six other avian herpesviruses using cross-neutralization tests in cell cultures. No detectable cross-neutralization occurred with any of the avian herpesviruses tested. Further characterization of GHV 552/89 was undertaken by comparing its genome with strains of DVE herpesvirus using restriction endonuclease analysis of the viral DNA and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Following digestion with HindIII, the DNA fragment pattern of GHV 552/89 was found to be completely different from the DVE viruses. Similarities were found between the digestion patterns of a UK and a US DVE isolate, but both were distinguishable from a UK vaccine strain. The results of the PCR analysis and comparison using two DVE-specific primer sets did not produce specific amplification products of expected molecular weights (603 and 446 base pairs) from the GHV 552/89 genome. The PCR products derived from the DVE strains were similar to those derived from the DVE control DNA. From the results of this study, it is concluded that the goose herpesvirus GHV 552/89 is antigenically and genomically distinct from DVE herpesvirus.
Additional Publication Details
Characterization of a herpes virus isolated from domestic geese in Australia