Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), the coronavirus of the chicken (Gallus gallus), is one of the foremost causes of economic loss within the poultry industry, affecting the performance of both meat-type and egg-laying birds. The virus replicates not only in the epithelium of upper and lower respiratory tract tissues, but also in many tissues along the alimentary tract and elsewhere e.g. kidney, oviduct and testes. It can be detected in both respiratory and faecal material. There is increasing evidence that IBV can infect species of bird other than the chicken. Interestingly breeds of chicken vary with respect to the severity of infection with IBV, which may be related to the immune response. Probably the major reason for the high profile of IBV is the existence of a very large number of serotypes. Both live and inactivated IB vaccines are used extensively, the latter requiring priming by the former. Their effectiveness is diminished by poor cross-protection. The nature of the protective immune response to IBV is poorly understood. What is known is that the surface spike protein, indeed the amino-terminal S1 half, is sufficient to induce good protective immunity. There is increasing evidence that only a few amino acid differences amongst S proteins are sufficient to have a detrimental impact on cross-protection. Experimental vector IB vaccines and genetically manipulated IBVs--with heterologous spike protein genes--have produced promising results, including in the context of in ovo vaccination.