The entire crop of 18,120 pheasants for the 2000 rearing season (May 8 to August 7) of one estate in the south of England was vaccinated at one day and five weeks of age with a turkey rhinotracheitis (TRT) vaccine. Blood samples and oropharyngeal swabs were taken from the second week's hatching every three weeks throughout the growing season to assess the response of the birds. There was evidence of seroconversion in samples collected three weeks after vaccination, with positive titres being maintained in 33 per cent or more of the population up to at least 22 weeks of age. Positive titres were also recorded in samples taken on December 6 from shot birds between 22 and 30 weeks of age. Positive titres to infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) were identified in a high proportion of the poults as early as one day of age. Reverse-transcriptase PCR detected IBV-like virus and TRT of the same subtype as the TRT vaccine administered three weeks previously.
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