Continuous clinicopathological and molecular recognition of very virulent infectious bursal disease virus in commercial broiler chickens

Ahmed Setta, Nahed Yehia, Momtaz Shaheen, Ashwag Shami, Fatimah A. Al-Saeed, Awad Alsamghan, Rabab Amin, Mohamed T. El-Saadony, Khaled A. El-Tarabily, Heba M. Salem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gumboro virus is one of the most dangerous immunosuppressant viruses that infect chickens and causes massive financial losses worldwide. The current study aims to conduct a molecular characterization of chicken farms for the infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV). Based on postmortem (PM) lesions, 125 bursal samples from 25 farms were collected from clinically diseased commercial chicken farms with increased mortality and suspected Gumboro virus infection. Pooled bursal samples from suspected IBD-vaccinated flocks were tested for IBDV by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Fifteen out of 25 pooled specimens were found positive for IBDV, with a 60% detection rate, and confirmed positive for very virulent IBDV (vvIBDV) by sequence analysis. Nucleotide phylogenetic analysis of VP1 and VP2 genes was employed to compare the 5 chosen isolates with strains representing different governorates in Egypt during 2022. All strains were clustered with vvIBDV with no evidence of reassortment in the VP1 gene. The VP1 and VP2 genes are divided into groups (I, II). The strains in our study were related to group II, and it acquired a new mutation in the VP2 gene that clustered it into new subgroup B. By mutation analysis, the VP2 gene of all strains had a characteristic mutation to vvIBDV. It acquired new mutations in HVRs compared with HK46 in Y220F, A222T/V in all strains in our study, and Q221K that was found in IBD-EGY-AH5 and AH2 in the loop PBC in addition to G254S in all strains in our study and Q249k that found in IBD-EGY-AH1 and AH3 in the loop PDE. These mutations are important in the virulency and antigenicity of the virus. The VP1 had 242E, 390M, and 393D which were characteristic of vvIBDV and KpnI restriction enzyme (777GGTAC/C782) in addition to a new mutation (F243Y and N383H) in IBD-EGY-AH1 and AH4 strains. According to the current study, the strains were distinct from the vaccinal strain; they could be responsible for the most recent IBDV outbreaks observed in flocks instead of received vaccinations. The current study highlighted the importance of molecular monitoring to keep up to date on the circulating IBDV for regular evaluation of commercial vaccination programs against circulating field viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103306
JournalPoultry science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Bursa of Fabricius
  • Gumboro
  • RT-PCR
  • Sequencing
  • VP1
  • VP2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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