The efficacy of commercially available recombinant herpesvirus of turkeys-infectious bursal disease (rHVT-IBD) virus vaccines was studied in broiler chickens derived from an IBDV-vaccinated breeder flock at 30 wk of age (Trial 1) and 60 wk of age (Trial 2). In parallel, specific-pathogen-free (SPF) white leghorn chickens were used to evaluate vaccine efficacy to control for the effects of maternally derived antibodies (MDA) associated with the broiler chickens. Broilers and SPF leghorns were vaccinated subcutaneously in the neck at 1 day of age with Vaxxitek® HVT IBD or Vectormune® HVT-IBD vaccines and were placed in isolators. On 10, 14, 18, 22, and 26 days postvaccination (DPV), vaccinated and nonvaccinated broilers and SPF leghorns were bled prior to challenge via the oral-nasal route with infectious bursal disease (IBD) reference strains ST-C, Delaware variant E (Del E), or contemporary field isolates DMV/5038/07 or FF6. Microscopic lesion assessment of the bursa was useful for assessing IBDV challenge in both rHVT-IBD-vaccinated broiler and SPF leghorn chickens. In general, rHVT-IBD vaccines induced greater protection as the time between vaccination and challenge increased. Based on incidence of microscopic lesions (IML) of bursa tissue, Vaxxitek HVT IBD vaccination of SPF leghorns induced protection by 18 DPV and continued to protect 22 DPV and 26 DPV in Trials 1 and 2. Vectormune HVT-IBD vaccine induced protection of SPF leghorns by 18 or 22 DPV in Trial 1, depending upon the IBDV challenge strain. However, the onset of protection was delayed until 22 or 26 DPV in Trial 2. With either commercial vaccine, rHVT-IBD vaccination of broiler chickens was not as effective as was observed in SPF leghorns, based on IML of bursa tissue. However, Vaxxitek HVT IBD vaccination protected broilers following challenge with ST-C in both Trial 1 (30-wk-old breeder progeny) and Trial 2 (60-wk-old breeder progeny). Partial protection against FF6 (Trial 1) and DMV/5038/07 (Trial 2) challenges was observed. Vectormune HVT-IBD vaccination protected broilers vs. FF6 challenge in Trial 1. In Trial 2, the vaccine did not offer protection on the basis of IML of bursa tissue. The results indicate that 1) bursa/body weight ratios were not consistently useful as a tool for assessing IBDV challenge in broiler chickens with anti-IBDV MDA compared to assessment by IML of bursa tissue, though were useful for assessing protection in SPF leghorns; and 2) both vaccines may offer some protection to older broilers; however, a window of susceptibility exists between the waning of MDA and the development of vaccine-induced antibodies. The SPF studies showed that some vaccinated chickens were not protected from an IBDV challenge earlier than 14 DPV while broiler studies showed that MDA was not fully protective beyond 10 DPV. Because these vaccines did not protect chickens from an IBDV challenge during this window of susceptibility, our data show that breeder vaccination programs for IBDV must aim to maximize anti-IBDV MDA in progeny to protect against early IBDV challenge.
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Vol. 60 • No. 3