Infectious bronchitis (IB) disease progression in vaccinated chickens after challenge was evaluated in a single commercial line of layer chickens presenting two different major histocompatibility complex (MHC) B complex genotypes. MHC B genotypes were determined by DNA sequence-based typing of BF2 alleles. In total, 33 B2/B15 and 47 B2/B21 chickens were vaccinated with an Ark-type IB virus (IBV) attenuated vaccine and challenged with Ark-type IBV field isolate AL/4614/98 14 days later. Additional chickens of both genotypes served as unvaccinated/challenged and unvaccinated/nonchallenged controls. Clinical signs, histopathologic analysis, detection of IBV genomes in tears, and IBV-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) in tears were used to evaluate disease progression and immune response. The incidence of IBV respiratory signs was significantly higher in B2/21 than in B2/B15 MHC genotype birds. However, neither the severity and duration of respiratory signs nor the severity and incidence of histologic lesions differed significantly with MHC genotype. The levels of IBV-specific IgA in tears of vaccinated and challenged chickens did not differ significantly between MHC genotypes. IBV genomes were present in the tears of vaccinated and challenged birds, and the incidence of detectable IBV genomes did not vary significantly with MHC B genotype. From an applied perspective, these results indicate that vaccinated commercial outbred chickens with these MHC genotypes are equally resistant to IBV.

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