SUMMARY. An infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) was isolated from commercial broilers from the state of California exhibiting respiratory distress, inflamed tracheas, airsaculitis, and edematous lungs. After reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the California isolate exhibited an identical restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) pattern to some isolates obtained from California, known as California 99 isolates. Commercial Mass–Conn and Mass–Ark vaccines were used to vaccinate commercial broiler chickens via eye drop once at 1 or 10 days of age or twice at 1 and 10 days of age. At 27 days of age the birds were challenged via eye drop with the isolated IBV California 99 strain. Protection was measured by failure to reisolate the challenge virus from tracheas 5 days postchallenge and complemented with the tracheal and epithelium thickness scores. When the Mass–Ark vaccine was included in the vaccination programs, there was protection against challenge with the IBV California 99 isolate. The Mass–Conn vaccine conferred protection when used once at 1 day of age and twice at 1 and 10 days of age. However, no total protection was achieved when used as the only vaccine at 10 days of age, since one of the replicates was positive for virus isolation. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in the epithelium thickness and tracheal scores were observed between the unvaccinated–unchallenged group and the groups vaccinated once or twice with the Mass–Conn vaccine. Based on these results, all chickens were protected against the California 99 isolate when the IBV Arkansas type was used as a vaccine.
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Vol. 47 • No. 4