Bronchitis in chickens can cut egg production 70%. New vaccine may stem outbreaks

Image Credit: About Bronchitis. Wrinkled eggs are a common symptom of infectious bronchitis.
Image Credit: About Bronchitis. Wrinkled eggs are a common symptom of infectious bronchitis.

Infectious bronchitis virus is highly contagious and responsible for major economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. Infected chickens experience weight loss, [up to 70 percent] decreased egg production and impaired egg quality. They are also left vulnerable to other diseases.

Current vaccines protect against some strains of the virus, but not others. Experts say these failures are possibly linked to differences in the spike protein — the protein which enables the virus to attach to and enter cells — between strains of the virus.

…. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the Pirbright Institute tested a new approach using a specialist type of vaccine — known as recombinant virus vaccines …. The research is published in the Journal of Virology.

These vaccines use harmless or weak versions of a virus or bacteria to introduce microbes into cells in the body …. experts used recombinant viruses with different spike proteins as vaccines to build two versions of a harmless virus. Results show the vaccine offered partial protection against infectious bronchitis virus …. Researchers say these recombinant vaccines have potential to be more cost effective and respond to emerging new virus strains. The next step will be to make a vaccine that remains harmless but induces a stronger immune response.

Related article:  Viewpoint: From GMOs to vaccines to climate change, we need to challenge anti-science activism in the 2020s

Read full, original article: Vaccine shows promise against widespread chicken disease

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