Avian Infectious Bronchitis

Agricultural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery November 04, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Avian Infectious Bronchitis is a highly contagious respiratory disease found in chickens caused by a Coronavirus. The virus is mainly spread by inhaling airborne droplets expelled by coughing and/or sneezing chickens and can infect the entire flock rapidly. Infectious Bronchitis virus may also be spread through contact with contaminated equipment and clothing and can travel for considerable distances with the wind. Although the disease is rarely fatal, it causes a considerable decline in quality egg production that may be permanent.


Endemic Areas

The coronavirus responsible for Avian Infectious Bronchitis is found worldwide.


Clinical Signs

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Noisy breathing
  • Huddling
  • Nasal discharge
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Poor egg production



There is no specific treatment for Avian Infectious Bronchitis but antibiotics may be given to protect chickens from secondary bacterial infections. Any chicken suspected of having Infectious Bronchitis should be reported to the State Veterinarians or USDA Area Veterinarian in Charge immediately.



Vaccinations are available for Infectious Bronchitis. The disease may be prevented from entering the flock by developing a sound vaccination program and following the suggestions in USDA-APHIS Biosecurity for the Birds program.


Public Health

Avian Infectious Bronchitis is not a public health threat.



Infectious Bronchitis Virus -University of Florida

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.