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IBV QX Outbreak in Iraq

29 June 2012, at 9:05am

IRAQ - An outbreak of IBV QX strain occurred recently in broiler farms in Erbil city, the capital of Kurdistan Region, Iraq.

Earlier this year, between February and March, 25 broiler flocks were surveyed in collaboration with OIE-FAO and National Reference laboratory for avian influenza and Newcastle disease in Italy.

Samples were collected from upper respiratory tract of chickens.

The broiler farms showed respiratory signs including gasping, sneezing, coughing and high mortality ranging between 15-65 per cent.

The average no of chickens on each farm was 12,000.

A total of 80 per cent of the samples were found to be positive for IBV nucleic acid and 60 per cent of the IBV positive samples showed 99 per cent sequence identity to Chines and European QX-like strains.

IBV alone does not cause such a high mortality, said local vet Dr Oumed Gerjis M. Amin. The damage caused by IB virus depends on several factors: the strain of the virus, pathogenicity of the virus, environmental factors, co-infection with other pathogens especially Mycoplasna and avian influenza, which are endemic in the region.

He added that this finding is very important because farmers either do not vaccinate against IBV or vaccinate once using mass strains, but the mass strains do not provide protection against QX strains.

Therefore, it is very important for Kurdistan veterinary authorities to reformulate the vaccination programme include in addition to mass strain vaccination, another appropriate prototype so that broad protection can be achieved including QX strains, which is the basic idea of protectotype.