In the present study, we examined the mortality rate, egg production, and clinical signs of quail experimentally infected with a field isolate of A/Chicken/Iran/339/02 (H9N2) avian influenza virus obtained from an infected commercial layer farm with severe morbidity and mortality. A total of 120 quail at 14 days old were randomly divided into four groups of vaccinated (B and C) and unvaccinated (A and D) birds. Vaccination was done on days 20 and 32, and viral inoculation of birds in groups C and D was then carried out on day 43. For evaluation of viral transmission, at 24 hr postinoculation additional unvaccinated birds were placed in direct contact with challenged birds. All the birds were evaluated for clinical signs, egg production, antibody production, viral titration in lung homogenates, and viral transmission following inoculation. All unvaccinated-challenged birds were infected and showed clinical signs, whereas the infection rate along with clinical signs of vaccinated-challenged birds reached 30%–40%. Although vaccination induced high antibody titers, reduction in food and water consumption was evident in this vaccinated-challenged group compared with the unchallenged control group. These results could indicate that inactivated vaccine did not fully prevent the infection, although it was capable of protecting birds against clinical signs and significantly decreased viral titers in lungs after intranasal challenge.
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Vol. 55 • No. 2