Infectious bursal disease (IBD) is a major disease affecting the poultry industry and is caused by infection with IBD virus (IBDV). To develop a novel vaccine to prevent IBD in chickens, recombinant Marek's disease virus Rispens viruses carrying the VP2 gene of IBDV driven by five different promoters (Rispens/IBD) were constructed using homologous recombination and a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). Rispens/IBD driven by the chicken beta-actin (Bac) promoter (Rispens/Bac-IBD), Rous sarcoma virus promoter, or simian virus 40 promoter were administered to 1-day-old SPF chicks, and the protective efficacy against IBDV was evaluated by challenging chicks with virulent IBDV. As a result, Rispens/Bac-IBD showed the best protection (87%). Next, we constructed the virus driven by the Bac-derived Coa5 promoter (Rispens/Coa5-IBD) for a secondary in vivo trial using commercial layer chickens since Rispens/Bac-IBD was thought to be genetically unstable. Rispens/Coa5-IBD showed stability in vitro and exhibited better antibody production and protection during challenge against virulent IBDV at both 5 (95%) and 7 wk of age (91%) compared with that of Rispens/Bac-IBD (90% at 5 wk of age and 84% at 7 wk of age). Thus, Rispens/Coa5-IBD may be a novel promising vaccine against IBD and virulent Marek's disease.
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Vol. 60 • No. 3