We have constructed a DNA vaccine (pDKArkS1-DPI) expressing the S1 glycoprotein (Arkansas DPI) of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) to examine protective immunity after in ovo and intramuscular DNA immunization. Birds receiving in ovo DNA followed by live virus vaccination at 2 wk of age were 100% protected from clinical disease. Birds receiving only live virus vaccine or only in ovo DNA vaccination were ≤80% protected. IBV was detected up to 10 days postchallenge in unvaccinated control groups, whereas birds receiving in ovo DNA and live virus vaccination cleared IBV from tracheal samples before day 5 postchallenge. Transcription of the S1 gene was confirmed in lung tissue after in ovo vaccination by an antisense riboprobe, and the S1 protein was detected by immunohistology in the heart and bursa. In a separate experiment, birds were injected intramuscularly with either 50, 100, or 150 µg of the DNA vaccine at 1 day of age and then again with either 100, 200, or 300 µg of the DNA vaccine, respectively, at 14 days of age. At 10 days postchallenge, no clinical signs were observed and no challenge virus was reisolated from the birds vaccinated with 150 µg and 300 µg of DNA. Between DNA-vaccinated birds and nonvaccinated control birds, no statistical differences were observed for IBV-specific serum antibodies as detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or the virus neutralization test. These data indicate that DNA vaccination with the S1 gene either in ovo or intramuscularly can provide birds with some protection against clinical disease after homologous IBV challenge.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2