Efficacy of a novel infectious bursal disease virus immune complex vaccine in broiler chickens

by Haddad, E. E.; Whitfill, C. E.; Avakian, A. P.; Ricks, C. A.; Andrews, P. D.; Thoma, J. A.; Wakenell, P. S.

Two experiments were conducted to test the efficacy of a novel infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) vaccine in broiler chickens with maternal IBDV immunity. The IBDV vaccine was formulated by mixing IBDV strain 2512 with bursal disease antibodies (BDA) to produce the IBDV-BDA complex vaccine. In Expt. I, 1-day-old Cobb x Cobb broiler chickens were vaccinated subcutaneously with either IBDV-BDA or commercial live intermediate IBDV vaccine (vaccine A) or were left unvaccinated. In Expt. 2, the vaccine A group was not included; instead, IBDV strain 2512 was included. Chickens were maintained in isolation houses. On day 28 (Expt. 1) and day 32 (Expt. 2) of age, chickens from each group were challenged with a standard USDA IBDV (STC strain) challenge. Challenged and unchallenged chickens were evaluated for their bursa/body weight ratios and antibody titers 3 days post-challenge. Bursae collected from Expt. 2 were examined histologically to evaluate bursal lesions and confirm gross examination. None of the unvaccinated chickens was protected against the challenge virus as evidenced by the presence of acute bursal lesions (edema/hemorrhage). All chickens receiving the IBDV-BDA complex or the IBDV strain 2512 (Expt. 2) were protected from the challenge virus as evidenced by no acute bursal lesions. Additionally, chickens receiving the IBDV-BDA complex vaccine or the IBDV strain 2512 had antibody titers to IBDV, indicating the presence of an active immune response. In Expt. 1, chickens vaccinated with vaccine A and challenged had bursal lesions similar to those observed in the unvaccinated, challenged chickens. These chickens also showed no indication of active immunity against the virus. These results suggest that the 1-day-of-age-administered IBDV-BDA complex vaccine can induce active immunity and protection against a standard IBDV challenge in the face of variable levels of maternal IBDV immunity.

Avian Diseases
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1938-4351; 0005-2086