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  • 1 CEVA-PHYLAXIA Veterinary Biologicals Co. Ltd., H-1107 Budapest, Szállás u.5, Hungary
  • 2 Veterinary Medical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1581 Budapest, P.O. Box 18, Hungary
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The appearance of very virulent strains of infectious bursal disease (IBD) virus at the end of the 1980s made it necessary to develop more effective immunization procedures. To facilitate this, the immunogenicity and the immunosuppressive effect of a mild (G-87), an intermediate (LIBD) and an intermediate-plus (IBDV 2512) IBDV strain were tested after the in ovo inoculation of 18-day-old SPF and broiler chicken embryos. It was established that no noteworthy difference existed between the immunized and the control embryos in hatching rate and hatching weight. The higher the virulence of the vaccine virus strain, the more severe damage it caused to the lymphocytes of the bursa of Fabricius. In SPF chickens, the haemagglutination inhibition (HI) titres induced by a Newcastle disease (ND) vaccine administered at day old decreased in inverse ratio to the virulence of the IBD vaccine strain, while in broiler chickens this was not observed. Despite the decrease of the HI titre, the level of protection did not decline, or did so only after the use of the ‘hot’ strain. SPF chickens immunized in ovo with a complex vaccine prepared from strain IBDV 2512 and IBD antibody showed the same protection against Newcastle disease as the broilers. In broiler chicken embryos immunized in ovo, only strain IBDV 2512 induced antibody production, and such chickens were protected against IBD at 3 weeks of age. The complex vaccine administered in ovo has been used successfully at farm hatcheries as well.

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