Nephropathogenic infectious bronchitis in Pennsylvania chickens 1997-2000

A. F. Ziegler, B. S. Ladman, P. A. Dunn, A. Schneider, S. Davison, P. G. Miller, H. Lu, D. Weinstock, M. Salem, R. J. Eckroade, J. Gelb

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72 Scopus citations


Nephropathogenic infectious bronchitis (NIB) was diagnosed in 28 infectious bronchitis virus (IBV)-vaccinated commercial chicken flocks in Pennsylvania from December 1997 to July 2000. Early clinical signs were increased flock mortality and urinary water loss (polyuria and pollakiuria) leading to wet litter. Daily mortality ranged from 0.01% in layers to 2.45% in broilers, with total broiler mortality as high as 23%. Severe renal swelling and accumulation of urates in the tubules were commonly seen. Visceral gout and urolithiasis were less frequently observed. Histopathologic changes included characteristic tubular epithelial degeneration and sloughing with lymphoplasmacytic interstitial nephritis. Minimal respiratory disease signs were noted in broilers. Egg production and shell quality declined in layers. Confirmatory diagnosis of NIB was made by IBV antigen-specific immunohistochemical staining of the renal tubular epithelium and virus isolation. Sequencing of the S1 subunit gene of 21 IBV isolates showed the NIB outbreak to be associated with two unique genotypes, PA/Wolgemuth/98 and PA/171/99. The cases from which the genotypes were isolated were clinically indistinguishable. The NIB viruses were unrelated to previously recognized endemic strains in Pennsylvania and were also dissimilar to each other. Genotype PA/Wolgemuth/98 was isolated almost exclusively during the first 14 mo of the outbreak, whereas PA/171/99 was recovered during the final 18 mo. The reason for the apparent replacement of PA/ Wolgemuth/98 by PA/171/99 is not known.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-858
Number of pages12
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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