Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV; Avian coronavirus) causes acute respiratory and reproductive and urogenital diseases in chickens. Following sequence alignment of IBV strains, a combination of selective primer sets was designed to individually amplify the IBV wild-type and vaccine strains using a multiplex amplification refractory mutation system reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (ARMS RT-PCR) approach. This system was shown to discriminate the IBV wild-type and vaccine strains. Moreover, an ARMS real-time RT-PCR (ARMS qRT-PCR) was combined with a high-resolution analysis (HRMA) to establish a melt curve analysis program. The specificity of the ARMS RT-PCR and the ARMS qRT-PCR was verified using unrelated avian viruses. Different melting temperatures and distinct normalized and shifted melting curve patterns for the IBV Mass, IBV H120, IBV TW-I, and IBV TW-II strains were detected. The new assays were used on samples of lung and trachea as well as virus from allantoic fluid and cell culture. In addition to being able to detect the presence of IBV vaccine and wild-type strains by ARMS RT-PCR, the IBV Mass, IBV H120, IBV TW-I, and IBV TW-II strains were distinguished using ARMS qRT-PCR by their melting temperatures and by HRMA. These approaches have acceptable sensitivities and specificities and therefore should be able to serve as options when carrying out differential diagnosis of IBV in Taiwan and China
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