Genotyping of infectious bronchitis viruses identified in Canada between 2000 and 2013

Avian Pathol. 2014;43(3):264-8. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2014.916395. Epub 2014 May 16.

Abstract

Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) was detected in 185 samples originating from chicken flocks of various commodity groups in Canada. Flocks with clinical signs such as respiratory challenge, sudden death, egg production problems, or nephropathogenic conditions, and randomly selected flocks sampled at slaughter as part of an Ontario broiler surveillance project, were included. Most samples were from Ontario and Québec; however, a small number from British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador were also analysed. The nucleotide sequence of the spike (S) protein gene was compared with sequences available in GenBank. Based on their S gene sequence similarities, Canadian IBVs could be divided into nine genotypes belonging to four groups: Canadian variant virus, strain Qu_mv; the classic, vaccine-like viruses, Connecticut and Massachusetts; US variant-like virus strains, California 1734/04, California 99, CU_82792, Pennsylvania 1220/98 and Pennsylvania Wolg/98; and non-Canadian, non-US virus, strain 4/91. Based on the field situation, the effectiveness of current vaccination practices mostly based on Massachusetts and Connecticut-type vaccines appeared generally satisfactory for minimizing the damage due to infection with Canadian variant and US variant-like viruses. However, the recent outbreaks of severe respiratory disease and production problems in Ontario chicken flocks related to the incursion of IBV strain 4/91 were not prevented by standard vaccination protocols. It appears that IBV strain 4/91 has now become endemic in Ontario and the need for 4/91-type vaccines must be evaluated.

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