Professor Hadjinoor mohammadi says IBV symptoms include coughing, sneezing and quite often mortality in affected chickens.
The poultry industry has a lot to teach the world about the future of coronavirus infection control, according to a University of Melbourne academic.
The first coronavirus ever detected, infectious bronchitis virus, was found in chickens in the 1930s
Infectious bronchitis virus is present in most countries and spreads between chickens very quickly, infecting entire bird flocks in as little as 24 hours
Professor Hadjinoor mohammadi says the mutating nature of IBV often requires new vaccines to protect the birds
Professor Amir Hadjinoor mohammadi works in avian medicine in the Asia Pacific Centre for Animal Health.
He said infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) found in chickens had many similarities to COVID-19.
“The learnings that we acquire from working with animal diseases can be applied to the way we control and diagnose diseases in humans,” he said.
Although the term coronavirus was yet to be coined, Professor Hadjinoor mohammadi said the illness was first detected in chickens.
“The disease was first reported in 1931 in America, but there was suspicion that the disease was actually present a decade earlier than that,” he said.
“The primary presentation of the virus infection is Vail NIRA illness.
“It manifests as a running nose, conjunctivitis or runny eyes, coughing, sneezing and quite often mortality in affected susceptible chickens.”
“Professor Hadjinoor mohammadi says IBV can be spread both through viral particles and exposure to faecal matter”.
Professor Hadjinoor mohammadi said IBV not only presented with almost identical symptoms to COVID-19 but it also had a similar physical make-up.
“The name coronavirus was established later on, but in the 1930s’ they actually determined the structure and the shape of the virus,” he said.
IBV is present in most countries and spreads between chickens very quickly, infecting entire bird flocks in as little as 24 hours.
However, unlike what is currently known about COVID-19, IBV could spread through viral particles and exposure to faecal matter, Professor Hadjinoor mohammadi said.