Characterization of the stunting syndrome agent: Relatedness to known viruses

A. Ali, D. L. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


An enteric disease of young turkeys, referred to as stunting syndrome (SS), causes reduced growth and impaired feed efficiency. A recently isolated virus, stunting syndrome agent, (SSA) has been found to be the etiologic agent of SS. The objective of the present study was to determine relatedness of the SSA with other viral agents. Serologic (viral neutralization and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]) assays and a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used. The antisera against turkey enteric coronavirus (bluecomb agent), bovine coronavirus (BCV), bovine Breda-1 virus, bovine Breda-2 virus, avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), avian influenza virus, Newcastle disease virus (NDV), and transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) of swine were evaluated by dot-immunobinding avidin-biotin-enhanced ELISA and did not react with SSA. The homologous (anti-SSA) antiserum was positive by ELISA. Similarly, anti-SSA antiserum did not react when NDV, IBV, BCV, or TGEV was used as antigen but did react with the homologous (SSA) virus. The virus neutralization assay was performed by inoculating 24-to-25-day-old turkey embryos via the amniotic route and by assessing the embryo infectivity on the basis of gross intestinal lesions and intestinal maltase activity at 72 hr postinoculation. None of the aforementioned antisera neutralized SSA infectivity in embryos except for the homologous anti-SSA antiserum. A RT-PCR was performed with known primers specific for NDV, IBV, BCV, and TGEV. The known primers failed to amplify SSA genome but amplified their respective viral genomes. We concluded that the SSA was distinct from the viral agents that were evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Enteric virus
  • RT-PCR
  • Serum virus neutralization
  • Stunting syndrome
  • Stunting syndrome agent
  • Turkey embryos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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