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A proposed nomenclature for infectious bursal disease virus isolates

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Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) was initially identified in the USA. For decades, these viruses were not categorized using a typing system because they were considered to be antigenically and pathogenically similar. In the 1980s, a second major serotype, serotype 2, was found in turkeys. Classification of IBDV became more complex with the discovery of antigenic variant strains called “variants” in the United States and a highly virulent strain known as “very virulent” or vvIBDV identified in Europe. To distinguish the IBDV strains identified prior to this time from the antigenic variant viruses, the term “classic viruses” was adopted. Studies over the next three decades produced a wealth of information on the antigenicity, pathogenicity and molecular structure of IBDV isolates. These data made it clear that the descriptive nomenclature used for IBDV was inadequate. For example, not all viruses identified as vvIBDV by genotyping are highly pathogenic; some have reassorted genome segments that result in lower virulence. Furthermore, variant viruses are not an antigenically homogeneous group and the term “classic virus” has been used interchangeably to describe antigenic and pathogenic types of IBDV. These and other issues make the current naming system for strains of IBDV archaic. The lack of uniform testing and standards for antigenicity and pathogenicity makes it difficult to categorize IBDV strains on a global basis. A new nomenclature that includes a genotyping system that can easily be applied worldwide is proposed and serves as a platform to begin discussions on its value to the scientific community.
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Keywords: Gumboro disease; IBD; IBDV; Infectious bursal disease; genogroups; infectious bursal disease virus; nomenclature

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Animal Health Research Program, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, USA 2: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA 3: GD Animal Health, Department R&D, Deventer, The Netherlands

Publication date: November 2, 2018

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