Attenuation of very virulent infectious bursal disease virus and comparison of full sequences of virulent and attenuated strains.

Migal, South Industrial Area, Kiryat Shmona, Israel.
Avian Pathology (Impact Factor: 2.04). 05/2008; 37(2):151-9. DOI: 10.1080/03079450801910206
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A very virulent strain of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDVks) was isolated from the bursae of Fabricius of IBDV-affected broiler chickens. Following 43 serial passages in specific pathogen-free embryonated eggs, an attenuated strain was established (IBDVmb). Dosages of IBDVmb in the range 10(2) to 10(4) embryo infective dose of 50% were found to be safe and protective for commercial chicks. Chickens vaccinated with live vaccine containing IBDVmb responded with precipitating and type-specific neutralizing antibodies, and were immune to subsequent challenge with a very virulent IBDV. IBDVmb has been used as an attenuated vaccine throughout the world since 1993. A comparison of the full sequences of the virulent and attenuated strains (IBDVks and IBDVmb, respectively) revealed seven nucleotides that were different, four of them leading to changes in the amino-acid sequence. Comparison of the protein sequence of these strains and published sequences of very virulent and attenuated phenotypes lead us to suggest that the novel difference responsible for virulence of the Israeli strains are: residue 272 (VP2, very conserved site) and residue 527 (VP4), both in segment A, and in segment B (VP1) residues 96 and 161 (both conserved). Our study strengthens the possibility that more than one protein is involved in IBDV attenuation. In all reports, including ours, virulence was reduced without affecting antigenicity of the neutralizing epitopes in VP2. This could have practical implications for attenuated-vaccine development.

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