In 1998, novel strains of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) were identified in chickens from the southeastern United States and classified as a new serotype designated Georgia 98 (GA98). Because of the widespread nature of the GA98 virus in the southeastern United States and the lack of adequate protection with the DE072 vaccine, we developed a specific vaccine for the GA98 serotype. The GA98/0470/98 isolate of IBV was passaged in embryonating chicken eggs 70 times, and attenuation of the virus was determined in specific-pathogen-free chicks. Pass 70 of the GA98/0470/98 strain of IBV when given at 1 day of age by coarse spray and at 14 days of age in the drinking water at 1 × 104.5 50% embryo infectious dose/bird protected against the homologous GA98 challenge as well as provided good protection against the DE072-type virus. In addition, the vaccine was shown to be adequately attenuated and safe at a 10× dosage.
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Vol. 47 • No. 3