Emergence of variant avian infectious bronchitis virus in India

Document Type: Full paper (Original article)

Authors

1 Department of Animal Biotechnology, Madras Veterinary College, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

2 Center for Animal Health Studies, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

3 Bioinformatics Centre and ARIS Cell, Madras Veterinary College, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract

Background: Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is the etiological agent of an acute and highly contagious disease. Infectious bronchitis (IB) affects chicken of all ages and poses major economic loses to the poultry industry worldwide. The continuous evolution of the spike protein (S1) of IBV is responsible for the prevalence of many serotypes/genotypes around the world. Multiple lineages of IBV strains have been detected in chicken flocks in India since 2003. Aims: To detect IBV genotypes prevalent in India. Methods: Organ samples from 20 IBV-positive flocks with variable clinical signs were used for the amplification of the S1 gene of IBV by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results: Positive PCR amplicons were sequenced. Sequence analysis showed that 14 field isolates belonged to the GI-1 genetic lineage (Mass 41 serotype), two field isolates belonged to the GI-13 (UK 4/91 variant IBV strain), one field isolate grouped with GIII, GV, and GVI genetic lineage and three belonged to a variant genotype unique to India (GI-24). Phylogenetic analysis also showed a similar type of grouping within the field isolates. Among the fourteen GI-1 isolates, 12 were isolated between 2003 and 2006 and only two were isolated between 2009 and 2011. The two field isolates belonging to GI-13 were isolated in 2007, another one belonging to GIII, GV, and GVI was isolated in 2010 and three field isolates were not close to any reference IBV sequences isolated in 2006 (IND-TN-168-06), 2010 (IND-TN-280-10) and 2011 (IND-TN-290-11). Conclusion: A unique variant of IBV is emerging in India (GI-24). Our findings will have important implications for future vaccine intervention.

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