Bursae of Fabricius were collected from 20 chickens diagnosed with infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) infection from 15 prefectures in 1993 to 2004. Here we report the nucleotide sequence analysis of VP2 hypervariable domain of IBDV genome detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction from these samples. Ten sequences derived from 10 prefectures in 1996 to 2003 were of the classical type and other 10 sequences derived from 6 prefectures in 1993 to 2004 were of the highly virulent type. Of the classical type sequences, 9 sequences were closely related to the sequence of classical attenuated vaccines used in Japan. Furthermore, two were identical to the sequence of B-Chi5 which represents Vaccine B passaged 5 times in chickens and was reported to be reverted the virulence during the passages. The 10 highly virulent type sequences were classified into four sequences, none of which had been previously detected in Japan. However, the deduced amino acid sequences were identical to each other and to the sequences of highly virulent IBDVs previously detected in Japan. The most common nucleotide sequences, which accounted for 6 of the sequences, were identical to 34 highly virulent type sequences detected in various countries in BLAST search. This is the first report of detection of the sequence in Japan which is identical to highly virulent strains detected in other countries. These findings show the prevalence of classical IBDVs closely related to the attenuated vaccines and highly virulent IBDVs derived from other countries throughout Japan since 1993.
- Molecular epidemiology
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