Pathogenicity and genomic characterization of a novel avian orthoreovius variant isolated from a vaccinated broiler flock in China.
Avian orthoreovirus (ARV) infections of broiler flocks cause arthritis/tenosynovitis syndrome and significant economic losses. ARV variants were detected in the USA and Canada. Viral arthritis/tenosynovitis syndrome has occurred frequently in China in recent years. In this study, a variant ARV strain associated with viral arthritis/tenosynovitis syndrome was isolated from broilers and designated as LY383. Genomic sequence and phylogenetic analysis of the σC nucleic acid and amino acid sequences revealed that the isolate was closely related to ARV field strains Reo/PA/Layer/01224B/14, Reo/PA/Broiler/1551/13, GA/14602/2014, GA/13569/2013 and GA/13542/2013, in cluster V, but distinct from most Chinese field strains or commercial vaccine strains. Experimental challenge showed that the isolate could cause arthritis/tenosynovitis syndrome in broilers, which possessed a high level of maternal antibodies induced by commercial ARV vaccines (S1133, 1733 and T98). Furthermore, viral nucleic acid could be detected in cloacal swabs of all challenged birds throughout the entire test from 5 dpi onward. These results suggest that a novel ARV genotype emerges and might become prevalent in broiler flocks in China.