Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILTV; Gallid alphaherpesvirus 1) causes mild to severe respiratory disease in poultry worldwide. Recombination in this virus under natural (field) conditions was first described in 2012 and more recently has been studied under laboratory conditions. Previous studies have revealed that natural recombination is widespread in ILTV and have also demonstrated that recombination between two attenuated ILTV vaccine strains generated highly virulent viruses that produced widespread disease within poultry flocks in Australia. In the United States, natural ILTV recombination has also been detected, but not as frequently as in Australia. To better understand recombination in ILTV strains originating from the United States, we developed a TaqMan single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping assay to detect recombination between two virulent U.S. field strains of ILTV (63140 and 1874c5) under experimental in vivo conditions. We also tested the capacity of the Innovax-ILT vaccine (a recombinant vaccine using herpesvirus of turkeys as a vector) and the Trachivax vaccine (a conventionally attenuated chicken embryo origin vaccine) to reduce recombination. The Trachivax vaccine prevented ILTV replication, and therefore recombination, in the trachea after challenge. The Innovax-ILT vaccine allowed the challenge viruses to replicate and to recombine, but at a significantly lower rate than in an unvaccinated group of birds. Our results demonstrate that the TaqMan SNP genotyping assay is a useful tool to study recombination between these ILTV strains and also show that vaccination can limit the number and diversity of recombinant progeny viruses.
- Infectious laryngotracheitis virus
- SNP genotyping assay
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology