Infectious bursal disease (IBD) viruses detected in commercial flocks of different regions of Argentina were analyzed by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of a VP2 gene fragment, followed by sequence analysis. Two out of eight IBD viruses presented an SspI restriction site, typical of the very virulent phenotype. Three IBD viruses presented a SacI restriction site, typical of classic virulent strains, and one isolate presented restriction sites for both enzymes. The Argentine IBD viruses showed three different molecular patterns by RFLP with the restriction endonuclease BstNI and five different patterns with MboI. By comparison of nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of the hypervariable region of the VP2 protein, four Argentine viruses were found to be closely related to Brazilian subclinical strains and two isolates were found to be related to vaccine IBDV strains in use in Argentina. Strain LD9569 was genetically characterized as a very virulent strain and was found to be closely related to international and regional vvIBDV strains. This is the first report on variability of IBDV strains circulating in Argentina.
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Vol. 50 • No. 2