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Avian Pathol. 2011 Feb;40(1):93-102. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2010.542742.

Efficacy and safety of an attenuated live QX-like infectious bronchitis virus strain as a vaccine for chickens.

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Pfizer Animal Health, Veterinary Medicine Research & Development Bios, Pfizer Global Manufacturing, C.J. Van Houtenlaan 36, Weesp, The Netherlands.


The attenuation of infectious bronchitis (IB) QX-like virus strain L1148 is described. The virus was passaged multiple times in embryonated specific pathogen free (SPF) chicken eggs, and at different passage levels samples were tested for safety for the respiratory tract and kidneys in 1-day-old SPF chickens. There was a clear decrease in pathogenicity for the respiratory tract and kidneys when the virus had undergone a large number of passages. Passage level 80 was investigated for safety for the reproductive tract in 1-day-old and 7-day-old SPF chickens. In 1-day-old chickens, 12.5% of the vaccinated birds had macroscopic lesions. No lesions were observed if the chickens had been vaccinated at 7 days of age. Passage level 80 was investigated for its ability to spread from vaccinated to non-vaccinated chickens and for dissemination in the body. The virus was able to spread from vaccinated chickens to groups of non-vaccinated chickens, and in the vaccinated birds the virus was found frequently in oro-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs. A fragment of the hypervariable region of the S1 protein of passage level 80 was sequenced and revealed nucleotide changes resulting in two amino acid substitutions. Passage level 80 was given additional passages to levels 82 and 85. Both passage levels were tested for efficacy in SPF chickens and passage level 85 was tested for efficacy in commercial chickens with maternally derived antibodies (MDA) against a challenge with QX-like strain IB D388. In both SPF chickens and chickens with MDA, the vaccines based on strain IB L1148 were efficacious against challenge.

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