Retrospective study on transmissible viral proventriculitis and chicken proventricular necrosis virus (CPNV) in the UK

Avian Pathol. 2020 Feb;49(1):99-105. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2019.1677856. Epub 2019 Oct 21.


Chicken proventricular necrosis virus (CPNV) is a recently described birnavirus, which has been proposed to be the cause of transmissible viral proventriculitis (TVP). The understanding of the epidemiology of both the virus and the disease is very limited. A retrospective investigation on TVP and CPNV in broiler chicken submissions from the UK from between 1994 and 2015 was performed with the aims of assessing the longitudinal temporal evolution of TVP and CPNV, and to review the histological proventricular lesions in the studied chickens. Ninety-nine of the 135 included submissions (73.3%) fulfilled the TVP-diagnostic criteria, while the remaining 36 submissions (26.7%) displayed only lymphocytic proventriculitis (LP). The first detection of CPNV by PCR dated from 2009. Results showed a rise in the number of both TVP and positive CPNV RT-PCR submissions from 2009 with a peak in 2013, suggesting that they may be an emerging or re-emerging disease and pathogen, respectively. Twenty-two out of the 99 submissions displaying TVP lesions (22%) and four out of the 36 (11%) submissions with LP gave positive CPNV RT-PCR results, further supporting the association between CPNV and TVP and confirming that CPNV is present in a low proportion of proventriculi that do not fulfil the TVP-diagnostic criteria. In addition, intranuclear inclusion bodies were observed in 22 of the submissions with TVP. The vast majority of these cases (21 of 22, 96%) gave negative CPNV RT-PCR results, raising the question of whether a virus other than CPNV is responsible for some of these TVP-affected cases.RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTSTVP and CPNV have been present in British broilers since at least 1994 and 2009, respectively.TVP and CPNV seem to be an emerging and re-emerging disease and pathogen, respectively.CPNV was detected in proventriculi with both TVP and LP-lesions.Viruses other than CPNV may be responsible for some TVP-affected cases.

Keywords: Birnavirus; chicken proventricular necrosis virus (CPNV); natural infection; poultry; retrospective study; transmissible viral proventriculitis (TVP).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Birnaviridae / classification
  • Birnaviridae / genetics
  • Birnaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Birnaviridae Infections / pathology
  • Birnaviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Birnaviridae Infections / virology
  • Chickens*
  • Phylogeny
  • Poultry Diseases / pathology
  • Poultry Diseases / virology*
  • Proventriculus / pathology
  • Proventriculus / virology*
  • RNA, Viral / chemistry
  • RNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Sequence Alignment / veterinary
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / veterinary
  • Stomach Diseases / pathology
  • Stomach Diseases / veterinary*
  • Stomach Diseases / virology


  • RNA, Viral