The disease caused by infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) produces great economic loss for the poultry industry. The purpose of this study is to investigate the molecular epidemiology of IBV in Taiwan. An old IBV strain isolated in 1964 and another 31 strains isolated from 1991 to 2003 were selected for N-terminal S1 gene analysis. Based on their phylogenetic tree, 13 strains were selected for sequencing the entire S1 and partial nucleocapsid (N) genes. The results indicated that Taiwanese IBV strains could be divided into two distinct lineages, Taiwan Group I and Taiwan Group II, with one Massachusetts strain and one Chinese strain. No recombination was found between H120 and the Taiwanese strains in the S1 gene. However, the S1 gene showed a noticeably higher divergence than the N gene. The phylogenetic trees constructed from the S1 and N genes indicate that intergenic recombination has occurred. Since most local strains are in Taiwanese clusters, developing vaccines from local strains is necessary for IBV control in Taiwan.
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Vol. 48 • No. 3