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Comparison of the replication and transmissibility of an infectious laryngotracheitis virus vaccine delivered via eye-drop or drinking-water

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Live attenuated vaccines have been extensively used to control infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT). Most vaccines are registered/recommended for use via eye-drop although vaccination via drinking-water is commonly used in the field. Drinking-water vaccination has been associated with non-uniform protection. Bird-to-bird passage of chick-embryo-origin (CEO) ILT vaccines has been shown to result in reversion to virulence. The purpose of the present study was to examine the replication and transmission of a commercial CEO infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV) vaccine strain following drinking-water or eye-drop inoculation. Two groups of 10 specific-pathogen-free chickens were each vaccinated with Serva ILTV vaccine strain either via eye-drop or drinking-water. Groups of four or five unvaccinated birds were placed in contact with vaccinated birds at regular intervals. Tracheal swabs were collected every 4 days from vaccinated and in-contact birds to assess viral replication and transmission using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Compared with eye-drop-vaccinated birds, drinking-water-vaccinated birds showed delayed viral replication but had detectable viral DNA for a longer period of time. Transmission to chickens exposed by contact on day 0 of the experiments was similar in both groups. Birds exposed to ILTV by contact with eye-drop vaccinated birds on days 4, 8, 12 and 16 of the experiment had detectable ILTV for up to 8 days post exposure. ILTV was not detected in chickens that were exposed by contact with drinking-water vaccinated birds on day 12 of the experiment or later. Results from this study provide valuable practical information for the use of ILT vaccine.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Asia-Pacific Centre for Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Science,The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria,3010, Australia 2: Asia-Pacific Centre for Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Science,The University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria,3030, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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