UK scientists are developing a new way to vaccinate chicks against the infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which continues to cost the UK poultry industry £23.6m a year in losses.
Paul Britton, head of the Coronavirus Group at IAH Compton, explained that the team had extracted a so-called spike protein from a pathogenic virus strain which triggers an immune response and incorporated it into a harmless non-pathogenic strain.
Dr Britton said: “This hybrid virus was able to induce immunity when inoculated before hatching. When hatched chicks were exposed to the virulent M41 strain, we observed protection rates of up to 100%.
“We are currently trying to modify the vaccine further, in collaboration with Intervet, to make it suitable for commercial use.”