Existence of variant strains Fowlpox virus integrated with Reticuloendotheliosis virus in its genome in field isolates in Tanzania
- 1. Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3019, Morogoro, Tanzania, email@example.com.
Fowlpox virus (FPV) is one example of poultry viruses which undergoes recombination with Reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV). Trepidation had been raised, and it was well established on augmented pathogenicity of the FPV upon integration of the full intact REV. In this study, we therefore intended at assessing the integration of REV into FPV genome of the field isolates obtained in samples collected from different regions of Tanzania. DNA extraction of 85 samples (scabs) was performed, and FPV-specific PCR was done by the amplification of the highly conserved P4b gene. Evaluation of FPV-REV recombination was done to FPV-specific PCR positively identified samples by amplifying the env gene and REV long terminal repeats (5′ LTR). A 578-bp PCR product was amplified from 43 samples. We are reporting for the first time in Tanzania the existence of variant stains of FPV integrated with REV in its genome as 65 % of FPV identified isolates were having full intact REV integration, 21 % had partial FPV-REV env gene integration and 5 % had partial 5′ LTR integration. Despite of the fact that FPV-REV integrated stains prevailed, FPV-REV-free isolates (9 %) also existed. In view of the fact that full intact REV integration is connected with increased pathogenicity of FPV, its existence in the FPV genome of most field isolates could have played a role in increased endemic, sporadic and recurring outbreaks in selected areas in Tanzania.