A virus, causing avian infectious bronchitis, characterised by respiratory signs including coughing, gasping, sneezing and nasal discharge, is highly contagious and responsible for major economic losses to the global poultry industry. Current vaccines protect against some virus strains but not others. Experts say these failures are possibly linked to differences in the spike protein, the protein which enables the virus to attach to and enter cells, between strains of the virus. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the Pirbright Institute tested a new approach using a specialist type of vaccine, known as recombinant virus vaccines. These use harmless or weak versions of a virus to introduce microbes into cells in the body. Dr. Erica Bickerton from Pirbright Institute said: “Our research hopes to develop more cost effective and efficient commercial vaccines that are capable of protecting chickens against this serious disease.” – Poultry World