RESEARCHERS in the Netherlands have identified a new strain (D181) of Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV).
Since early 2018, an unusual IBV has been detected on more than 60 poultry farms across the country that has caused lower egg production and higher mortality, because of co-infection with E coli, according to poultry union Avined.
Work undertaken by research institute Royal GD Animal Health on behalf of the industry has confirmed there is a new serotype, which it has labelled IBV D181.
It is genetically and serologically related to D1466, but deviates too much to be counted as a known serotype.
Identifying the IBV subtype is a first step in understanding the potential impact of the serotype on poultry.
A follow-up study, in which adult laying hens were infected with the D181 strain, found a moderate decrease in laying and no respiratory systems.
But other strains have shown similar, mild, effects on hens in lab settings but proven more serious when in the field.
Available vaccine strains also gave only limited neutralising antibodies, making it uncertain how effective current treatments might be against the serotype.
More research into the new serotype and its potential impact is underway – inlcuding to determine if it causes kidney damange and false layer syndrome.