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The use of chicken tracheal organ cultures for the isolation and assay of avian infectious bronchitis virus

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A study has been made of the use of chicken tracheal organ cultures for the isolation and assay of avian infectious bronchitis (AIB) virus from both naturally and experimentally infected chickens. Six strains of AIB virus were investigated, 3 of which had been isolated from natural outbreaks of disease. Two of the virus isolations from the outbreaks of AIB were made directly into tracheal organ cultures without passage in embryonated eggs.

Organ cultures prepared from 20-day-old embryos were used since they were found to be somewhat more sensitive in virus assay than those derived from chickens of up to 31 days of age. Ciliostasis, which was used as the marker of infectivity, was complete by 3 days after inoculation with each strain of virus examined.

Virus could be isolated from both respiratory and non-respiratory tissue in tracheal organ cultures and these cultures were found to be at least as sensitive as 9-day-old embryonated eggs in detecting AIB virus either in pathological material or in serial dilutions. When virus was assayed in both systems, the titres were very similar. It is considered, therefore, that chicken embryo tracheal organ cultures offer a reliable alternative system to embryonated eggs for studying AIB virus.

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Cook, J.K.A., Darbyshire, J.H. & Peters, R.W. The use of chicken tracheal organ cultures for the isolation and assay of avian infectious bronchitis virus. Archives of Virology 50, 109–118 (1976).

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