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Lymphoproliferative Disease

 

Other Names: LPDV

Cause

Lymphoproliferative Disease , a cancer of turkey and chickens, is caused by a retrovirus (LPDV).

Significance

Known to occur in domestic turkeys in Europe and Israel, it was first recognized in wild North American turkeys in 2009. Sporadic cases have been identified every year since then, and its significance for wild turkey populations is unknown. However it does seem to be a disease that has spilled over from domestic to wild birds.

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Species Affected

Rare cases of a similar disease has been seen in wild birds in North America, however, it was caused by another different, but related, virus. LPDV affects domestic chickens and turkeys. To date, LPDV has affected only turkeys in the wild, and both sexes can be affected.

Distribution

Domestic fowl are affected by LPDV in the UK, Austria, the Netherlands and Israel. Wild turkeys have been diagnosed with the disease, including organ involvement, in Arkansas, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Others have been simply positive for the virus, but without diagnostic lesions.

Transmission

There is reason to believe that the disease is transmitted horizontally between birds who have direct contact.

Lymphoproliferative Disease

Clinical Signs

Disorientation, weakness, lethargy are common signs in those birds that are still alive, though the disease is rapidly fatal and birds are often found dead. Scabby nodules on the skin of the legs and head are also often seen.

DIAGNOSIS

Lymphoproliferative Disease

Multiple tan nodules in the organs, enlarged spleen and liver, and skin nodules are suggestive of LPDV infection. Turkeys with this disease may also have concurrent infection with Avian Pox virus. Laboratory tests can detect the viruses that are present. Please refer to the Avian Pox disease description for more information on clinical signs and diagnosis of that disease.

SUGGESTED READING

This disease is so newly discovered in wild turkeys that literature on it is not currently available. For now, questions should be directed to pgccomments@pa.gov