V. Stepanets, Z. Vernerová, M. Vilhelmová
We have studied the pathogenic changes in Khaki Campbell ducks injected in mid embryogenesis with ALV subgroup C virus td daPR-C derived from a molecular clone. The employed duck flock was shown to be highly genetically homogeneous and was controlled for the absence of current infections. Clear symptoms of wasting disease, which appeared since one week post hatching, represented the early consequence of the virus infection. They were manifested by decreased body weight, including clear involution of thymic tissue and pronounced anaemia. Microscopically, thymuses of infected animals displayed lymphatic depletion, clearly visible in the lobular cortex. Similarly, in the bursa Fabricii follicles, a marked reduction of the cortical layer and a decrease in folicullar centres was revealed. A decrease in the antibody response correlated with bursa Fabricii atrophy. The clear signs of anaemia were confirmed by haematological measurements, red blood cell count, haematocrit value and haemoglobin included. On the basis of these and additional observations we propose that inoculation of duck embryos provides a suitable model for analysis of the wasting disease produced by ALV-C.