A doctoral thesis, directed in IRTA-CReSA, proves that highly virulent IBDV comes from Asia. The doctoral thesis dissertation of Jennifer S. Toskano Hurtado explained this investigation. The thesis was entitled “Caracterización genómica y epidemiología molecular del virus de la Bursitis infecciosa en España” (Genomic characterization and molecular epidemiology of infectious bursal disease virus in Spain) and was directed by Natalia Majó and Jose Ignacio Núñez, researchers from IRTA-CReSA.
The thesis provides important contributions to the understanding of the epidemiology of avian infectious bursal disease (IBDV), also known as Gumboro’s disease, which causes a disease of great importance in poultry production. An important contribution of this thesis is the sequencing and analysis of over 950 strains of IBDV, allowing a thorough overview of the circulation of these viruses in the field. On the other hand, phylogeography studies have been able to prove the origin of the highly virulent IBDV, opposite to what was assumed; these viruses come directly from Asia and not from northwestern Europe, thus demonstrating the utility of these techniques in virus knowledge and disease control.
This thesis has also contributed to the increase of complete genomes available for this virus. Among the results obtained, one must highlight the first description of the phenomenon of virus recombination isolated in Spain, a phenomenon not described so far. All this information is very important for future research on the knowledge of different aspects related to the control of the virus, from its pathogenesis to its virulence and vaccine design, among others.