Detection of antibodies against Turkey astrovirus in humans.
Astroviruses are a leading cause of gastroenteritis in mammals and birds worldwide. Although historically thought to be species-specific, increasing evidence suggests that astroviruses may cross species barriers. In this report, we used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to screen sera from three distinct human cohorts involved in influenza studies in Memphis, TN or Chapel Hill, NC, and Midwestern poultry abattoir workers for antibodies to turkey astrovirus type 2 (TAstV-2). Surprisingly, 26% of one cohort's population was TAstV-2 positive as compared to 0 and 8.9% in the other cohorts. This cohort was composed of people with exposure to turkeys in the Midwestern United States including abattoir workers, turkey growers, and non-occupationally exposed participants. The odds of testing positive for antibodies against turkey astrovirus among abattoir workers were approximately 3 times higher than the other groups. These studies suggest that people with contact to turkeys can develop serological responses to turkey astrovirus. Further work is needed to determine if these exposures result in virus replication and/or clinical disease.
Meliopoulos, VA; Kayali, G; Burnham, A; Oshansky, CM; Thomas, PG; Gray, GC; Beck, MA; Schultz-Cherry, S
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