The aim of this study was to detect the occurrence of Marek’s disease virus (MDV) among birds’ species in Nigeria. Tissues were collected from exotic laying birds, local chickens, ducks, quails and wild cattle egrets presented for disease diagnosis at veterinary facilities in the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Kaduna states. Molecular technique using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to identify viral nucleic acid from the lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, skin, pancreas and ovary. DNA was extracted from tissue homogenates of 25% suspension in Phosphate buffered saline. The PCR detected a band of MDV from the lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys and skin tissues of exotic pullets and laying birds aged between 8 to 24 weeks from Bauchi, Kaduna and Plateau states at 491 base pairs. From the field samples 34% (5/15) were positive for MDV. Percentage positivity was 100% (1/1) for the lungs, spleen, skin and kidney tissues and 11.1% (1/9) for the liver. This study confirmed that MDV in a flock can be detected by extracting the virus from the tissues of infected chickens using PCR, thus improving clinical, pathological and laboratory confirmation of the disease for routine diagnostic purposes.
Marek’s Disease; Virus; DNA; Avian; Nigeria