2015 Volume 77 Issue 8 Pages 913-918
Infectious bursal disease (IBD) is characterized by immunosuppression due to the depletion of lymphocytes in the atrophied bursa of Fabricius (BF). We have sometimes encountered contradictory findings: chickens infected with the vaccine IBD virus (IBDV) strain have sometimes exhibited a highly atrophied BF, but not immunosuppression. In this study, chickens administered vaccine or wild-type strains of IBDV were later vaccinated with the B1 strain of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Bursal changes were examined histologically with a focus on the bursal follicle. The immunoreactivity to NDV was also evaluated with the hemagglutination inhibition test. In gross examination, we observed a few chickens with a severely atrophied BF in vaccine strain-administered groups (vaccine groups), and the level of severity was the same as that in the wild-type strain-administered group (wild-type group). However, these chickens retained humoral antibody responses to NDV and were revealed to possess a higher number of bursal follicles than those of the wild-type group. These results indicated that macroscopic evaluation dose not accurately reflect the immunoreactivity and degree of bursal damage in IBDV-administered chickens. We also found non-immunosuppressed chickens in the wild-type group. These non-immunosuppressed chickens retained a significantly higher number of normal follicles and total follicles according to our statistical analysis. Furthermore, a high correlation coefficient between the NDV-HI titer and the number of normal follicles was found in the wild-type group. These results implied that the retained number of normal follicles is important for the immunoreactivity of chickens infected with IBDV.