Fowl adenovirus-induced diseases and strategies for their control – a review on the current global situation
The stand-alone pathogenicity of fowl adenoviruses (FAdVs) had long been disputed, given the ubiquity of the viruses versus sporadic outbreaks, and variation between experimental studies. However, a globally emerging trend of FAdV-associated diseases has marked the past two decades, with hepatitis-hydropericardium syndrome mainly in Asia besides Arabian and Latin American countries, and geographically more disseminated outbreaks of inclusion body hepatitis. Finally, the appearance of FAdV-induced gizzard erosion (AGE) in Asia and Europe completed the range of diseases. Epidemiological studies confirmed serotype FAdV-4 as agent of hepatitis-hydropericardium syndrome, whereas inclusion body hepatitis is related to FAdV-2, -8a, -8b and -11. Members of the biologically more distant serotype FAdV-1 induce AGE. Urged by increasing problems in the field, numerous pathogenicity studies with FAdVs from outbreaks substantiated the primary aetiologic role of particular strains for distinct clinical conditions.
Developments in the poultry industry towards highly specialized genetic breeds and rigorous biosecurity additionally contribute to the growing incidence of FAdV-related diseases. Confirming field observations, recent studies connected a higher susceptibility of broilers with their distinct physiology, implying the choice of bird type as a factor to be considered in infection studies. Furthermore, elevated biosecurity standards have generated immunologically naïve breeding stocks, putting broilers at risk in face of vertical FAdV transmission. Therefore, future prevention strategies should include adequate antibodies in breeders prior to production and – if necessary – vaccination, in order to protect progenies. This review aims to deliver a detailed overview on the current global situation about FAdV-induced diseases, their reproduction in vivo and vaccination strategies.