California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System

Photo: Avian Virology

Avian Virology

The Avian Virology section's mission is to provide a comprehensive diagnostic virology service for avian species. The section receives specimens for testing from all the laboratories in the system that offer an avian service and directly from veterinarians in private practice and working for commercial producers. 

Avian Virology is divided into two sections plus a contribution to EM:

  • Cell culture
  • Virus isolation (VI) and identification
  • EM

Cell Culture:  This section provides a supply of primary, secondary and continuous cell line cultures for virus isolation procedures.

VI and Identification:  VI procedures are performed in SPF embryonating eggs of both chicken and Muscovy duck origin and the following primary cell cultures: chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF), chicken embryo liver (CEL), chicken embryo kidney (CEK), Muscovy duck embryo fibroblasts (MDEF), and VERO cell line. Virus identification procedures include hemagglutination (HA), hemagglutination inhibition (HI), agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID), virus neutralization (VN), FA tests, antigen capture immunoassays for avian influenza virus, and negative stain electron microscopy.

EM:  Negative stain EM is processed in the EM section but avian virology reads both avian and mammalian negative stained grids. Negative stain EM is performed on:1) samples collected from birds, e.g., intestinal contents, skin lesions, by direct electron microscopy (DEM); and 2) samples from inoculated embryos showing suspicious pathology and/or mortality, and cell cultures showing CPE following inoculation with clinical samples (EMID).