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Lesions in Broiler and Layer Chickens in an Outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus Infection

Acland, H. M., Bachin, L. A. Silverman, Eckroade, R. J.
Influenza A virus, animal pathology, edema, encephalitis, laying hens, muscles, myositis, necrosis, pancreatitis, skeletal muscle, Pennsylvania
Fifteen chickens, five broilers and ten layers, from the Pennsylvania 1983 outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus infection, were examined. Gross lesions in the broilers were limited to serosal petechiae and dehydration. In the layers there was comb edema, vesiculation, and necrosis. Microscopic lesions were mild to severe diffuse nonsuppurative encephalitis, very mild to severe diffuse necrotizing pancreatitis, and very mild to severe subacute necrotizing myositis involving numerous skeletal muscles and most severe in the external ocular muscles and limbs. While many of these lesions have been seen in experimental infections of chickens with influenza viruses, the pattern of organs involved in this group of chickens is distinctive.