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Virulence of infectious laryngotracheitis viruses: comparison of modified-live vaccine viruses and North Carolina field isolates

Virulence of infectious laryngotracheitis viruses: comparison of modified-live vaccine viruses and North Carolina field isolates

Avian Diseases 34(1): 106-113

Virulence of six modified-live (ML) infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) vaccine viruses was compared with that of 11 field isolates (indistinguishable from vaccine viruses by DNA restriction endonuclease analyses) by intratracheal exposure of 4-week-old, specific-pathogen-free chickens. Virulence of ILT viruses was based on an intratracheal pathogenicity index, mortality, and tracheal lesions. Intratracheal pathogenicity indices for ML vaccine viruses ranged from 0.0 to 0.14, while those for field isolates were 0.20 to 0.82. Mortality was a consistent clinical feature of field isolates; all produced mortality, with seven of the 11 isolates causing two or more deaths per inoculation group. In contrast, only one of six ML vaccine viruses produced mortality (one death per inoculation group). In general, tracheal lesions were more severe in chickens inoculated with field isolates and were produced more consistently than in chickens inoculated with vaccine viruses. These studies indicate that virulence of ILT field isolates was greater than that of ML vaccine viruses. Together with previous restriction endonuclease analyses, these findings suggest the possibility that field isolates originated from ML vaccine viruses through reversion to parental-type virulence.

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Accession: 068556709

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PMID: 2157386

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