different enough that conventional reovirusvaccines are not as effective in immunizingthe animal against the new virus.Although there is no hard evidence tosubstantiate the role of reassortment as itrelates to the current situation, virusneutralization assays used to compare thestrains have shown that while some of theseviruses are of the same serotype, they differantigenically from the chicken viral arthritisstrain S1133.
Further attempts areunderway to characterize these novel strainsin hopes of gaining knowledge that will leadto effective live and inactivated vaccines.
Poultry operations should strive to attain anaccurate diagnosis of lameness thought tobe caused by reoviruses. The goal should beto avoid clouding the issue with thosefactors unassociated with viral arthritis/tenosynovitis, so that a true diseaseassessment can be made. A combination of serology, histopathology, virus isolation, andantigen specific testing can be employed torule in or rule out the presence of a variantfield strain. Once determined, integratorsmay opt to use an inactivated autogenousproduct in hopes of creating some level of immunity to the new virus strains. However,due to the variability of disease severity andlack of field information, evaluation of theseproducts is difficult and more specificchallenge studies need to be completed.Also, without an effective live primer, thelevel of immunity derived from autogenousproducts may not be as effective asimmunization programs geared towardtraditional strains. Hopefully, with a greaterunderstanding as to the characteristics of these novel strains, more effective vaccinescan be developed to assist in control of thechanging viral arthritis/tenosynovitis issue.
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