Chicken Anemia Virus

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Abstract

Chicken anemia virus (CAV), the only member of the genus Gyrovirus of the Circoviridae, is a ubiquitous pathogen of chickens and has a worldwide distribution . CAV shares some similarities with Torque teno virus (TTV) and Torque teno mini virus (TTMV) such as coding for a protein inducing apoptosis and a protein with a dual-specificity phosphatase. In contrast to TTV, the genome of CAV is highly conserved. Another important difference is that CAV can be isolated in cell culture. CAV produces a single polycis-tronic messenger RNA (mRNA), which is translated into three proteins. The promoter-enhancer region has four direct repeats resembling estrogen response elements. Transcription is enhanced by estrogen and repressed by at least two other transcription factors, one of which is COUP-TF1. A remarkable feature of CAV is that the virus can remain latent in gonadal tissues in the presence or absence of virus-neutralizing antibodies. In contrast to TTV, CAV can cause clinical disease and subclinical immunosuppression especially affecting CD8 + T lymphocytes. Clinical disease is associated with infection in newly hatched chicks lacking maternal antibodies or older chickens with a compromised humoral immune response.