An infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) test was used to assay serum-antibody titers after IBV vaccination of IBV-susceptible specific-pathogen-free broilers and commercial layers. Three-week-old broilers were vaccinated via eye-drop with IBV strains that represent the antigenic spectrum of commercial vaccines--Holland, Massachusetts 41 (41 Ms), Connecticut 46, Florida 18288, or JMK strain--and revaccinated 3 weeks later with either the same or a heterologous strain. Weekly serum samples were tested by IBV HI with homologous and heterologous antigens. Vaccinates, except for those vaccinated with the Holland strain, were HI-positive with homologous but not heterologous antigens by 1 to 2 weeks postvaccination. Sixteen-week-old IBV-vaccinated commercial layers were revaccinated with IBV Holland 52 (H 52) strain and subsequently infected with Arkansas 99 (Ark 99) and SE 17 strains. In contrast to the limited HI cross-reactivity of serum from IBV-vaccinated broilers, there were extensive cross-reactions in HI tests with 41 Ms, H 52, Ark 99, and SE 17 antigens of revaccinated layers. These results demonstrate that the IBV HI test is more strain-specific than previous reports indicate, especially when the test samples are from early postvaccination.