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Is genetics the key for lasting IBV immunity?

Manipulating the immune response may be one way infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is controlled in the future, predict researchers studying genetic lines of poultry.

Rodrigo Gallardo, DVM, PhD, associate professor of poultry medicine at the University of California—Davis, told Poultry Health Today that a study was initiated more than 3 years ago to search for new preventive IBV strategies.

The objective isn’t to develop a new genetic line of birds, however. The researchers are looking for molecules or cells that provide IBV resistance when stimulated, he said.

The research started by challenging more than 10 different genetic lines of leghorn chickens with IBV. That process, which itself took more than 2 years, resulted in identifying one line that is relatively resistant to IBV and one that is susceptible to the virus. With the focus narrowed to two genetic lines, the researchers are now studying chickens’ innate and adaptive immune responses, Gallardo said.

Innate immunity — a host’s first line of defense against infection — is “nonspecific” and difficult to measure. Adaptive immunity is easier to measure since it produces a local antibody response to a challenge, he explained.

The resistant line has shown a strong adaptive immune response by producing a large quantity of IgA and IgG antibodies. Chickens in the IBV-resistant line don’t have many respiratory signs during an IBV challenge and have less inflammation in the trachea than birds in the susceptible line, he noted.


Posted on December 3, 2018

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  • How effective IBV surveillance can prevent ‘overvaccination’

    Consistent surveillance and analysis of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) at poultry production facilities can guard against “overvaccination” — where too much vaccine virus in the environment causes a rolling reaction in flocks.

  • ‘Reverse genetics’ may offer new IBV vaccine targets

    Researchers at The Pirbright Institute in the UK report that a recent study provides evidence that mutations in the genetic code for non-structural proteins “offer a promising way” to make vaccines against infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) safer.

  • Why ‘vaccinated’ chickens still get infected with IBV — and what to do about it

    While many vaccines and vaccination programs effectively protect against the highly contagious infectious bronchitis virus in poultry, outbreaks of the disease still occur in vaccinated flocks.

  • Poultry industry can learn from COVID-19

    Biosecurity is not sufficient to control avian coronaviruses like infectious bronchitis in commercial poultry, no matter how good it is, said Mark Jackwood, PhD, a molecular virologist and professor of avian medicine at the University of Georgia.

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