Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the Pirbright Institute in the United Kingdom are testing a new vaccine to check its effectiveness in battling the infectious bronchitis virus found in millions of chickens around the world.
Bronchitis virus in chickens is highly contagious and the global poultry industry suffers major economic losses every year due to the disease.
Symptoms of infected chickens involve weight loss, decreased egg production, and impaired egg quality. They are also more vulnerable to other illnesses.
The researchers are testing a new approach which involves a specialist vaccine, known as recombinant virus vaccine, that introduces harmless or weak versions of a virus into the fowl’s body.
Recombinant vaccines are considered to be more cost-effective and would respond potently to emerging new virus strains.