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Circulation of three genotypes and identification of unique mutations in neutralizing epitopes of infectious bronchitis virus in chickens in Bangladesh
Archives of Virology  (IF2.574),  Pub Date : 2021-09-04, DOI: 10.1007/s00705-021-05227-3
Parvin, Rokshana, Begum, Jahan Ara, Nooruzzaman, Mohammed, Kabiraj, Congriev Kumar, Chowdhury, Emdadul Haque

Infectious bronchitis (IB) is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a gammacoronavirus that has been circulating for many years in chickens in Bangladesh, resulting in significant economic losses. The aim of this study was to detect and characterize infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) from clinical outbreaks and surveillance samples. Real-time RT-PCR was used to detect IBV in pooled lung and tracheal tissue samples (n = 78), oropharyngeal swabs (n = 19), and pooled fecal samples (n = 13) from live-bird markets. Both respiratory and nephropathogenic forms of IB were suspected at necropsy (n = 7) from clinical outbreaks. Sequencing of hypervariable regions (HVR1-2 and HVR3) of the region of the spike gene (S) encoding the S1 subunit of five isolates revealed circulation of the Mass-like, QX-like, and 4/91-like genotypes of IBV in Bangladesh. Each genotype was extremely variable, as shown by separate clustering of the viruses in a phylogenetic tree and high nucleotide (nt) sequence divergence (38.8–41.2% and 25.7–37.4% in the HVR1-2 and HVR3 sequence, respectively). The unique mutation G65E was observed in each Mass-like isolate, and Y328S was observed in each 4/91-like Bangladeshi isolate. Three neutralizing epitope sites were predicted within the HVRs that differed significantly among the three genotypes. In addition, one Bangladeshi isolate carried fixed mutations at 294F and 306Y, like other pathogenic QX-like IBVs, which could affect epitopes involved in neutralization, facilitating virus circulation among vaccinated flocks. Therefore, continuous screening and genotype characterization will be necessary to track the epidemiology of IBV and control IB infection in Bangladesh.