Bursal samples were collected from commercial broiler flocks exhibiting clinical signs suggestive of infectious bursal disease (IBD). The presence of IBD virus (IBDV) was confirmed by partial amplification of the VP2 and VP1 genes by reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction. The Uruguayan viruses were identified as very virulent strains of IBDV (vvIBDV) by nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis. The comparison of the VP2 nucleotide sequences among the Uruguayan samples revealed the presence of single-nucleotide polymorphisms suggestive of different viral subpopulations or quasispecies in the same flock. The comparative analysis indicated that these Uruguayan viruses were genetically close to the European strain UK661 and to the vvIBDVs previously detected in Venezuela. Our analyses provided new information about the distribution, variability, and evolutionary trends of vvIBDV strains in the Americas.
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Vol. 50 • No. 4