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Effects of chicken anaemia virus and infectious bursal disease virus-induced immunodeficiency on infectious bronchitis virus replication and genotypic drift

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We followed changes in a portion of the S1 gene sequence of the dominant populations of an infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) Arkansas (Ark) vaccine strain during serial passage in chickens infected with the immunosuppressive chicken anaemia virus (CAV) and/or infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) as well as in immunocompetent chickens. The IBV-Ark vaccine was applied ocularly and tears were collected from infected chickens for subsequent ocular inoculation in later passages. The experiment was performed twice. In both experiments the dominant S1 genotype of the vaccine strain was rapidly and negatively selected in all chicken groups (CAV, IBDV, CAV + IBDV and immunocompetent). Based on the S1 genotype, the same IBV subpopulations previously reported in immunocompetent chickens and named component (C) 1 to C5 emerged both in immunocompetent and immunodeficient chickens. During the first passage different subpopulations emerged, followed by the establishment of one or two predominant populations after further passages. Only when the subpopulation designated C2 became established in either CAV-infected or IBDV-infected chickens was IBV maintained for more than four passages. These results indicate that selection does not cease in immunodeficient chickens and that phenotype C2 may show a distinct adaptation to this environment. Subpopulations C1 or C4 initially became established in immunocompetent birds but became extinct after only a few succeeding passages. A similar result was observed in chickens co-infected with CAV + IBDV. These results suggest that the generation of genetic diversity in IBV is constrained. This finding constitutes further evidence for phenotypic drift occurring mainly as a result of selection.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pathobiology,College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn,AL,36849, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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