Avian infectious bronchitis virus

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Avian infectious bronchitis virus
Virus classification
Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
Order: Nidovirales
Family: Coronaviridae
Genus: Gammacoronavirus
Species: Avian infectious bronchitis virus

Avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a coronavirus which infects chickens, causing the associated disease, infectious bronchitis (IB). It is a highly infectious avian pathogen which affects the respiratory tract, gut, kidney and reproductive systems of chickens.[1][2]

There is also evidence that IBV can infect other avian species. IBV affects the performance of both meat producing and egg producing chickens and is responsible for substantial economic loss within the poultry industry.[3]


IBV is a coronavirus, in the genus Gammacoronavirus,[4] or group 3,[3] with a non-segmented, positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome.[5]


Respiratory system[edit]

When inhaled, virus will attach to glycoprotein receptors containing sialic acid on ciliated epithelial cells of the respiratory epithelium. The respiratory replication will result in loss of ciliary activity,[6] mucus accumulation, necrosis and desquamation, causing respiratory distress, râles and asphyxia. Local virus replication will result in viremia, spreading the infection into other tissues and organs. Other respiratory diseases of chickens (Mycoplasma gallisepticum, avian infectious laryngotracheitis (Gallid herpesvirus 1), Newcastle disease (avian paramyxovirus 1), avian metapneumovirus infection may be confused clinically to infectious bronchitis.


Through viremia, some nephrotropic strains (most of high virulence) could infect the kidney epithelium in tubules and nephron, causing kidney failure. At gross examination, kidneys may appear swollen and pale in color and with urates in ureters.

Reproductive system[edit]

In hens, the viremic IBV will also reach the oviduct, causing lesions in the magnum (the egg-white gland) and in the uterus (the egg-shell gland), leading to a sharp decline of egg production, shell-less, fragile or roughened shells eggs (uterus lesion) with watery whites (magnum lesion). Infection of chickens at puberty, during the oviduct development, will impede oviduct formation and destroy future laying capacity, resulting in "false layers". However, other diseases affecting layer chickens could lead to that condition.[7]


There are both attenuated vaccines and inactivated vaccines available. Their effectiveness is diminished by poor cross-protection. The nature of the protective immune response to IBV is poorly understood, but the surface spike protein, the amino-terminal S1 half, is sufficient to induce good protective immunity. Experimental vector IB vaccines and genetically manipulated IBVs—with heterologous spike protein genes—have produced promising results, including in the context of in ovo vaccination.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Casais, R.; Thiel, V.; Siddell, S.G.; Cavanagh, D.; Britton, P. (2001). "Reverse genetics system for the avian coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus". Journal of Virology. 75 (24): 12359–12369. doi:10.1128/JVI.75.24.12359-12369.2001. PMC 116132Freely accessible. PMID 11711626. 
  2. ^ Cavanagh, D. (2001). "A nomenclature for avian coronavirus isolates and the question of species status". Avian Pathology. 30 (2): 109–115. doi:10.1080/03079450120044506. PMID 19184884. 
  3. ^ a b c Cavanagh, D (2007). "Coronavirus avian infectious bronchitis virus". Veterinary research. 38 (2): 281–97. doi:10.1051/vetres:2006055. PMID 17296157. open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ Bande, F; Arshad, SS; Omar, AR; Bejo, MH; Abubakar, MS; Abba, Y (2016). "Pathogenesis and diagnostic approaches of Avian Infectious Bronchitis". Advances in Virology. 2016: 4621659. doi:10.1155/2016/4621659. PMC 4756178Freely accessible. PMID 26955391. 
  5. ^ de Vries, A.A.F.; Horzinek, M.C.; Rottier, P.J.M.; de Groot., R.J. (1997). "The genome organisation of the Nidovirales: similarities and differences between arteri-, toro-, and coronaviruses". Seminars in Virology. 8: 33–547. doi:10.1006/smvy.1997.0104. 
  6. ^ "Ciliary activity of chicken tracheal epithelial cells". YouTube. 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  7. ^ "Infectious Bronchitis: Introduction". The Merck Veterinary Manual. 2006. Archived from the original on 22 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-17.