Two outbreaks of severe acute disease characterised by hepatitis and hydropericardium were observed in young goslings on large-scale farms in Hungary. Histological examination revealed multifocal necrotic areas and two types of intranuclear inclusion bodies adjacent to necrotic areas in the liver. The most prominent type of inclusion bodies showed strong basophilic staining and completely filled the enlarged nucleus. The other type was eosinophilic and occupied the centre of the nucleus, which had margination of chromatin. In the heart, haemorrhage was associated with multifocal necrosis in the myocardium. The presence of fowl adenovirus DNA in different organs of the naturally infected goslings was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The virus was isolated, and identified as a goose adenovirus by genomic analysis. This is the first report on the involvement of a goose adenovirus in severe acute disease associated with hepatitis and hydropericardium.
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