Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV) is the causative agent of one of the most important and wide-spread infectious diseases among commercial chicken flocks. IBDV causes a depletion of B-lymphoid cells in the bursa of Fabricius, inducing immunosuppression, morbidity, or even acute mortality. Because currently used live IBDV vaccines are derivatives from field isolates no serologic discrimination between field isolates and live vaccines can be made. The recently developed reverse genetics techniques for IBDV allows one to generate genetically modified IBDVs which might have altered biological and antigenic properties. Here, we describe the rescue of mosaic serotype I IBDVs, of which the polyprotein encoding region was partly replaced by the corresponding region of a serotype II strain. A mosaic virus, containing the C-terminal part of serotype II VP3 showed only a slightly delayed release of progeny virus compared to unmodified serotype I virus, while maximum viral titers at 25 h post infection were equal. Since serotype specific epitope(s) are present in the C-terminal part of VP3, we were able to discriminate this rescued virus from serotype I and II IBDV strains. These findings make the use of a chimeric VP3 a promising approach to develop an IBDV marker vaccine.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2001
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