Avian adenoviruses are found worldwide and consist of 8 different species which have been associated with a wide range of virulence and are ubiquitous. Many infections are subclinical.
Most latent adenovirus infections become apparent when birds are 2-3 weeks of age and again during high stress periods.
Adenoviruses are resistant to lipid solvents, sodium deoxycholate, trypsin, 2% phenol and 50% alcohol.
Adenoviruses are transmitted vertically, and chicks hatched from infected eggs can shed the virus in their feces after they hatch.