Dynamic distribution and tissue tropism of avian encephalomyelitis virus isolate XY/Q-1410 in experimentally infected Korean quail.
Avian encephalomyelitis (AE) is an important infectious poultry disease worldwide that is caused by avian encephalomyelitis virus (AEV). However, to date, the dynamic distribution of AEV in quails has not been well described. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays were used to investigate the dynamic distribution and tissue tropism of AEV in experimentally infected Korean quail. AEV was detected in the cerebrum, cerebellum, proventriculus, intestine, liver, pancreas, spleen, bursa, lung and kidney as early as 3 days post-infection (dpi). The viral loads in the proventriculus, intestine, spleen and bursa were relatively higher than in other tissues. According to the qPCR results, AEV XY/Q-1410 infection lasted for at least 60 days in infected Korean quail. Immunohistochemistry-positive staining signals of AEV antigen were analysed by Image-Pro Plus software. A positive correlation between qPCR and IHC results was identified in most tissues. Our results provide an insight into the dynamic distribution of AEV in various tissues after infection. The distinct dynamic distribution of the viral genome in Korean quail in the early and late stages of infection suggests that AEV replication is affected by antibody levels and the maturity of the immune system of the host.