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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Variability Assessment of California Infectious Bronchitis Virus Variants.

  • Author(s): Gallardo, RA
  • Aleuy, OA
  • Pitesky, M
  • Sentíes-Cué, G
  • Abdelnabi, A
  • Woolcock, PR
  • Hauck, R
  • Toro, H
  • et al.

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On the basis of the data from the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, 1444 infectious bronchitis (IB) cases were diagnosed between 1997 and 2012. Epidemiologic analyses demonstrated two major IB virus (IBV) outbreak peaks, affecting mainly 35-to-49-day-old broiler chickens. California variant 1737 (CA1737) and California variant 1999 (Cal 99) IBV types were the most prevalent genotypes during the analyzed period. To further understand the increased prevalence of these genotypes, we assessed and compared the variability of the S1 gene hypervariable region of CA1737 and Cal 99 with the variability of IBV strains belonging to the Massachusetts 41 (M41) and Arkansas (Ark) types during serial passages in embryonated chicken eggs. On the basis of the S1 nonsynonymous changes, seven different subpopulations were detected in M41. However, the predominant population of the field strain M41 before passages continued to be predominant throughout the experiment. In contrast, Ark passaging resulted in the detection of 13 different subpopulations, and the field sequence became extinct after the first passage. In IBV Cal 99, eight different subpopulations were detected; one of these became predominant after the second passage. In CA1737, 10 different subpopulations were detected. The field strain major sequence was not detected after the first passage but reappeared after the second passage and remained at low levels throughout the experiment. Compared with M41 and Ark, Cal 99 and CA1737 showed intermediate variability.

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