The potential for infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) replication interference was evaluated using quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Fourteen-day-old broiler chickens were inoculated via eyedrop with live commercial vaccine strains of IBV and NDV alone or in combination to directly evaluate IBV and NDV replication in the trachea at 1, 3, and 5 days after vaccination. Commercial NDV vaccine strains used were B1, VG/GA, and C2. The vaccine strains of IBV tested were Massachusetts (Mass) and Arkansas (Ark). The NDV Mass vaccines used were commercially manufactured combined products. The NDV Ark vaccines used were commercial vaccines manufactured as single entity products that were administered by eyedrop to opposite eyes of each chicken.
As measured by qRT-PCR, the replication of NDV strains B1, VG/GA, and C2 did not interfere with the growth of IBV Mass and Ark strain vaccines in the combined vaccine treatment groups. Combination vaccinations using B1 and VG/GA did not interfere with IBV immunity based on challenge or serum antibody production. In the C2 Mass vaccination trial, IBV immunity after challenge was reduced, but it did not seem to be a result of reduced Mass vaccine growth or the ability of the Mass vaccine to induce serum IBV antibody. In contrast, the replication of IBV strains Mass and Ark interfered with the growth of NDV strains B1, VG/GA, and C2 as measured by qRT-PCR. However, interference with NDV replication was not reflected in a reduction in Newcastle disease challenge of immunity findings when combination Mass NDV products manufactured by vaccine companies were tested. Moreover, NDV immunity was not compromised in two of three trials using single entity vaccines of NDV and Ark IBV vaccines manufactured separately but administered simultaneously. However, in one trial, NDV immunity was decreased where a NDV single entity product (C2) was given with an IBV single entity Ark vaccine. This finding emphasizes the importance of using manufactured combination vaccines whenever possible to avoid potential interference.