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Virus Genes. 2002;25(1):85-93.

Molecular characterization of three new avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) strains isolated in Quebec.

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INRS-lnstitut Anmand-Frappier, Centre of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Laval, Quebec, Canada.


Three unrecognized field isolates of Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) were recovered from commercial broiler chickens vaccinated with live Mass viral strain (H120). These isolates were identified by immunofluorescence using monoclonal antibodies produced against reference serotypes: Mass, Conn, and Ark. RT-PCRs were performed on viral RNAs to amplify S1 gene using a specific set of primers S1OLIGO3' and S1OLIGO5'. Restriction polymorphism (RFLP) of PCR products was determined by the use of HaeIII restriction enzyme. As expected, patterns of PCR products were different from common pattern of strains assigned to Mass serotype M41, Beaudette, H120, and Florida. Molecular analysis showed a nucleotide insertion in hypervariable region one (HVR-1) of S1 gene of only Quebec isolates (Qu16, Qu_mv and Q_37zm). However, New Brunswick IBV isolate (NB_cp) did not display these insertions. Major amino acid changes involved insertion of two stretches (aa118-119: Arg-Ser and aa141-145: Sys-Ser-Asn-Ala-Ser-Cys) located at N-terrminal and C-terminal regions of HVR-2. It is speculated that cysteine residue located upstream and downstream of Cys-Ser-Asn-Ala-Ser-Cys segment might be involved in the formation of loop structure and disulfide bond that could trigger important epitope changes. Insertion of new NXT and NXS (X not equal to P) glycosylation motifs scattered along S1 region and insertion of cysteine residues in HVR are contributing to the antigenic shifting of Quebec isolates. Fragment insertions were thought to be induced by inter-serotype recombination between vaccine strain (H120) that belongs to Mass serotype and another strain belonging to Ark serotype. Phylogenetic tree based on amino acid sequences showed that Quebec isolates formed a new phylogenetic cluster.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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