Poultry farmers set to benefit from new quarterly infectious bronchitis disease survey

A major European animal drug company has launched a new quarterly survey of infectious bronchitis strains across Europe, with the aim of helping producers plan for any increases in risk.

Fort Dodge’s first survey, which was carried out by Liverpool University, has revealed a variety of strains with distinct differences between countries.

For example, the most common strain detected between 2002 and 2004 was Italy-02 which is particularly dominant in the UK, France and Spain. Since 2004, the emergence of a novel strain, QX-like (L1148/D388), has been noted. It was most common in Germany/Benelux in 2004 and in France from 2006.

Layer chicken

One concern raised by the results is a re-emergence of the D1466 strain seen layers and breeders across Europe. This re-emergence is worrying because it is different from other strains and existing live vaccines do not offer protection.

IB is the most common and significant endemic respiratory disease of chickens. It’s an acute, highly contagious disease affecting chickens of all ages and is caused by an avian coronavirus. IB is of particular economic importance as it causes poor weight gain and feed efficiency in growing birds and egg production declines steeply in laying birds.

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