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Professional Version

Viral Encephalitides in Poultry


James S. Guy

, DVM, PhD, DACVM, DACPV (Deceased), Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, North Carolina State University

Reviewed/Revised Oct 2019 | Modified Jun 2023

Encephalitis in poultry and farm-reared gamebirds may be caused by several different arboviruses. These include Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Poultry Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus can cause disease in poultry and game birds. Neurologic disease is the most common clinical outcome; however, this virus also may result in decreased... read more , Western equine encephalitis (WEE) virus Western Equine Encephalitis in Poultry Western equine encephalitis (WEE) virus has many characteristics in common with eastern equine encephalitis virus; however, it is rarely associated with disease in avian species. WEE virus is... read more , Highlands J (HJ) virus Highlands J Virus Highlands J (HJ) virus is a cause of encephalitis in chukar partridges. Chukars exhibit somnolence, ruffled feathers, and recumbency before death. HJ virus infection in this species is associated... read more , Israel turkey meningoencephalitis virus Israel Turkey Meningoencephalitis Israel turkey meningoencephalitis has been reported only in turkeys. It causes progressive paresis and paralysis with decreased egg production and variable mortality. Diagnosis is by viral isolation... read more , and West Nile Virus West Nile Virus Infection in Poultry West Nile virus is a widespread, mosquito-borne pathogen maintained in nature between bird-mosquito transmission cycles; dead-end hosts include horses and humans. It is primarily a pathogen... read more . The term “arbovirus,” an abbreviation of arthropod-borne virus, is used to describe a virus that replicates in a hematophagous (bloodsucking) arthropod and is transmitted by bite to a vertebrate host.

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