Characterisation of avian nephritis virus (ANV) in commercial poultry

The University of Melbourne

  • Project code: PRJ-005199

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Monday, May 3, 2010

  • Project completion date: Friday, August 30, 2013

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 3-Contributing to efficient and secure chicken production systems


Avian nephritis virus (ANV) has been implicated as a cause of disease in chickens with diarrhoea, interstitial nephritis and retarded growth. Some infectious agents, such as infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), also induce similar renal lesions. Differential diagnosis of ANV, and related chicken astroviruses (CAstV), has not been possible until recently and consequently importance of these two viral pathogens for poultry health is little understood. Recent studies overseas have shown that both pathogens are prevalent in broiler flocks and that they differ genetically and possibly also in virulence. It has been considered that ANV is also present in Australia, however nothing is known of its properties or importance. Recently in several broiler flocks in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, chicks age 7 – 10 days , were diagnosed with acute interstitial nephritis and samples submitted to our laboratory for confirmation. In some of these cases IB vaccine virus was detected and in some others ANV was detected by an in house PCR. One of the specimens has now been passaged in vitro and seems to contain viable ANV. Limited sequencing of ANV from one sample from NSW indicated that this virus differ from ANV detected in other countries. We propose to continue with the characterisation and isolation of ANV from diagnostic samples in order to establish type and properties of ANV present, correlate clinical and pathological manifestation of ANV with the genetic diversity of the virus, develop reagents and method for their diagnosis, and advise industry of significance of this virus for poultry health and quality control


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

Develop diagnostic methods for ANV and other chicken astroviruses (CAstVs)
Generate purified virus for virus stocks, and biological and genetic characterisation
Determine sero-prevalence in broiler flocks and prevalence of virus in young chicks from suspected and already identified locations
Sequence the complete genome of the isolated ANV and compare with ANV strains from other countries