1National Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran, Iran
2Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Karadj, Iran
3Veterinary Medicine Research Center, Agriculture Organization, Markazi Province, Arak, Iran
Marek’s disease (MD) is a lymphoproliferative disease of chickens characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of various organs. The present study was an attempt to use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to optimize a rapid and reliable assay for detection of MDV genome. Detection of serotype 1 of MDV (MDV-1) was confirmed by presence of a 200 bp DNA fragment as a PCR product. Differentiation of MDV-1 and herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) was also conducted using specific primers from the glycoprotein A (gA) gene and a 388 bp DNA fragment was amplified from HVT genome. The specificity of the test was confirmed by sequencing of PCR products. Results indicate that MDV-1 can be diagnosed in clinical samples and inoculated cell cultures which is used for virus isolation. In addition, differentiation between MDV-1 and HVT viruses was confirmed based on the size of PCR products. The test proved to be rapid and reliable and can be performed as a robust diagnostic test in veterinary diagnostic laboratories.