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Marek's disease virus influences the core gut microbiome of the chicken during the early and late phases of viral replication

Perumbakkam, Sudeep, Hunt, Henry D., Cheng, Hans H.
FEMS microbiology ecology 2014 v.90 no.1 pp. 300
B-lymphocytes, Lactobacillus, Mardivirus, T-lymphocytes, chickens, feces, immunosuppression (physiological), inflammation, intestinal microorganisms, intestines, microbiome, virus replication, viruses
Marek’s disease (MD) is an important neoplastic disease of chickens caused by the Marek’s disease virus (MDV), an oncogenic alphaherpesvirus. In this study, dysbiosis induced by MDV on the core gut flora of chicken was assessed using next generation sequence (NGS) analysis. Total fecal and cecum‐derived samples from individual birds were used to estimate the influence of MDV infection on the gut microbiome of chicken. Our analysis shows that MDV infection alters the core gut flora in the total fecal samples relatively early after infection (2–7 days) and in the late phase of viral infection (28–35 days) in cecal samples, corresponding well with the life cycle of MDV. Principle component analyses of total fecal and cecal samples showed clustering at the early and late time points, respectively. The genus Lactobacillus was exclusively present in the infected samples in both total fecal and cecal bird samples. The community colonization of core gut flora was altered by viral infection, which manifested in the enrichment of several genera during the early and late phases of MDV replication. The results suggest a relationship between viral infection and microbial composition of the intestinal tract that may influence inflammation and immunosuppression of T and B cells in the host.