Infectious bronchitis (IB) is an acute, highly contagious upper respiratory virus that only causes diseases in chickens. The virus is found worldwide, and it can be spread through respiratory discharges and faeces of infected chickens, aerosol particles, ingestion of contaminated feed and water, and contact with contaminated equipment. In addition to cold-like symptoms such as coughing and conjunctivitis, IB can cause decreased egg production combined with a loss of egg quality for laying hens, and even nephritis in some cases. Morbidity for flocks affected by IB is typically 100%.
IB can be effectively controlled by a live vaccine programme based upon an assessment of the most prevalent IB virus types in the area. This includes the use of the Protectotype®, a combination of IB vaccines that have demonstrated broad cross-protection against multiple IB challenge strains as a foundation for protection.