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Acta Virol. 2019;63(4):403-414. doi: 10.4149/av_2019_404.

Attenuation and amino acid changes in infectious bronchitis virus Iranian 793/B serotype during serial passaging in embryonated chicken eggs.


The use of live attenuated vaccine (LAV) is the main method for controlling infectious bronchitis (IB). It is advisable to develop a LAV using a dominant serotype in the region in the case of vaccine failure. Since 793/B serotype is one of the most predominant circulating IB viruses in Iran, attenuation of three Iranian 793/B isolates (IR/773/2001, IR/794/2002 and IR/520/2002) was done by serial passaging in specific pathogen free (SPF) embryonated chicken eggs up to 90 passages to assess the degree of their attenuation to achieve a native LAV in the future. Virulence and pathogenicity of passage levels 15 and 90 of isolates 773 and 794 were compared using histopathology, ciliostasis and potency tests. The results showed a decrease in the virulence and pathogenicity of the isolates at passage 90 compared to passage 15, although this decrease in pathogenicity was very mild and viruses after passage 90 were not adequately attenuated. Each isolate underwent some amino acid changes at passage 90. In case of isolate 773 it was 5 aa changes, while in isolate 794 it was 19 aa changes. Some amino acid changes resulted in change into amino acid with different hydrophobicity characteristics. No amino acid change was found at passage level 15 compared to wild type viruses. Interestingly, we did not find previously reported change in amino acid 95 in passage levels 15 and 90. Keywords: infectious bronchitis; live attenuated vaccine; 793/B serotype; pathogenicity; attenuation; nucleotide sequencing.

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