Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is one of the major poultry pathogens of global importance. However, the prevalence of IBV strains in Malaysia is poorly characterized. The partial genomic sequences (6.8 kb) comprising the S-3a/3b-E-M-intergenic region-5a/5b-N gene order of 11 Malaysian IBVs isolated in 2014 and 2015 were sequenced using next-generation sequencing technology. Phylogenetic and pairwise sequence comparison analysis showed that the isolated IBVs are divided into two groups. Group 1 (IBS124/2015, IBS125/2015, IBS126/2015, IBS130/2015, IBS131/2015, IBS138/2015, and IBS142/2015) shared 90%–95% nucleotide and deduced amino acid similarities to the QX-like strain. Among these isolates, IBS142/2015 is the first IBV detected in Sarawak state located in East Malaysia (Borneo Island). Meanwhile, IBV isolates in Group 2 (IBS037A/2015, IBS037B/2015, IBS051/2015, and IBS180/2015) were 91.62% and 89.09% identical to Malaysian variant strain MH5365/95 (EU086600) at nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively. In addition, all studied IBVs were distinctly separate from Massachusetts (70%–72% amino acid similarity) and European strains including 793/B, Italy-02, and D274 (68%–73% amino acid similarity). Viruses in Group 1 have the insertion of three amino acids at positions 23, 121, and 122 of the S1 protein and recombinant events detected at nucleotide position 4354–5864, with major parental sequence derived from QX-like (CK-CH-IBYZ-2011) and a minor parental sequence derived from Massachusetts vaccine strain (H120). This study demonstrated coexistence of the IBV Malaysian variant strain along with the QX-like strain in Malaysia.
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Vol. 61 • No. 4