Four infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) isolates were recovered from commercial broiler chicken flocks located on the Delmarva Peninsula (east coast of the United States) in the spring of 2006. Sequence analysis of the S1 subunit of the spike glycoprotein gene showed the four isolates were highly related to each other (≥99.6% nucleotide identity; ≥98.9% amino acid identity). Basic local alignment search tool analysis indicated the highest S1 amino acid identity of isolate DMV/5642/06, typical of the four Delmarva (DMV) isolates, was to CA/1737/04, an isolate obtained from broilers in California in 2004. A pathogenicity study conducted, using two-week-old commercial broilers, showed that DMV/5642/06 caused respiratory but not renal (kidney) disease. A vaccination–challenge study in three-week-old specific-pathogen-free leghorn chickens demonstrated that a commercial live attenuated IBV vaccine containing the Massachusetts strain conferred protection against challenge with DMV/5642/06 based on virus reisolation attempts and microscopic pathology.
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