Astrovirus Infection in Hatchling Turkeys: Alterations in Intestinal Maltase Activity
Two experiments were conducted to determine intestinal disaccharidase ac- tivity in 1-day-old commercial turkey poults inoculated with astrovirus. Small intestinal sam- ples were collected on days 0.5, 1, 3, and 7 postinoculation (PI) in Expt. 1 and on days 7, 10, and 14 PI in Expt. 2 and evaluated for specific maltase activity (SMA). Astrovirus infection was verified on day 7 PI by immune electron microscopy of intestinal contents. Inoculated poults developed diarrhea and a transient, significant decrease in intestinal SMA. SMA was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in astrovirus-inoculated poults than in control poults throughout the entire small intestine from day 3 through day 7 PI. However, SMA had returned to normal in inoculated poults by day 10 PI and was significantly higher than control values (P < 0.05) in all sections of the small intestine, except in the proximal jejunum, by day 14 PI. Decreased SMA caused by astrovirus infection resulted in disaccharide maldigestion, mal- absorption, and subsequent osmotic diarrhea. As astrovirus was cleared from the intestinal tract, SMA was restored and diarrhea was resolved.
Thouvenelle, Mari L., Joseph S. Haynes, Jerry L. Sell, and Don L. Reynolds. "Astrovirus infection in hatchling turkeys: alterations in intestinal maltase activity." Avian diseases (1995): 343-348. doi: 10.2307/1591877. Posted with permission.