The degree and duration of clinical and virological cross-protection between avian pneumovirus subtypes A and B were examined in two-week-old pneumovirus antibody-free turkeys. The turkeys were inoculated with either a virulent subtype A (Belgian isolate AIT6/96), a virulent subtype B (Belgian isolate B/T9/96), an attenuated subtype A or an attenuated subtype B, and challenged homologously and heterologously with virulent avian pneumovirus two, five and 11 weeks after inoculation. Birds inoculated with virulent A or B virus showed typical respiratory signs from three to seven days after inoculation. After challenge, no clinical signs were observed in any of the groups, and no virus was isolated from the turkeys that had been initially inoculated with a virulent strain. Virulent virus was recovered from the birds that had been initially inoculated with attenuated subtypes and challenged five and/or 11 weeks later with a heterologous virulent strain. Birds challenged after five weeks showed a serological booster reaction only when they had been inoculated initially with a virulent or attenuated subtype B and challenged with subtype A. Seroconversion was observed in all the groups challenged after 11 weeks except when they had been inoculated initially with attenuated subtype B and challenged with subtype B.
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