Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The interaction of reovirus infection and manganese, biotin, niacin, choline, or folic acid fed to chickens at a dietary level of 20%, 100%, or 200% of the National Research Council Nutrient requirements of poultry-1977 (NRC-77) (Nat. Acad. Sci., Washington, D.C.) was evaluated in five studies. Responses measured were the incidence and severity of tenosynovitis, the incidence of nutrient deficiency lesions, bone shearing strength, and immunologic responses. The severity of tenosynovitis was greater in male chickens than female chickens fed varying dietary levels of manganese, biotin, choline, or folic acid. The incidence of tenosynovitis was higher in male chickens compared to the female chickens at 4 weeks of age in the manganese, biotin, and choline studies. Increasing dietary levels of manganese or biotin decreased the severity of tenosynovitis. Increasing dietary levels of choline increased the severity of tenosynovitis. Reovirus infection increased the incidence of leg abnormalities in chickens deficient in biotin, niacin, and folic acid and decreased the incidence of leg abnormalities in chickens deficient in choline. Male chickens had a higher incidence of leg abnormalities than female chickens when infected with reovirus (biotin and niacin studies). Increasing dietary levels of the vitamins from 20% to 200% of the NRC-77 requirement decreased the incidence of leg abnormalities, except for the infected male chickens in the biotin study. Infected chickens had reduced absolute shear strengths of the proximal femur in the choline and folic acid studies, and reduced proximal and distal tibiotarsal absolute shear strength in the folic acid study when compared with noninfected chickens. Reduced proximal femur and tibiotarsal absolute shearing strength caused by niacin and biotin deficiencies was observed. Reovirus infection did not have a detrimental effect on the immunological responses to sheep red blood cell, phytohemagglutinin-P, and purified protein derivative. Male and female chickens fed varying dietary levels of selected nutrients had similar antibody responses against reovirus at 4, 6, and 8 weeks of age.