The protection of poultry from H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) can be achieved through vaccination, as part of a broader disease control strategy. We have previously generated a recombinant influenza virus expressing, (i) an H5 hemagglutinin protein, modified by the removal of the polybasic cleavage peptide and (ii) the ectodomain of the NDV hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein in the place of the ectodomain of influenza neuraminidase (Park MS, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2006;103(21):8203-8). Here we show this virus is attenuated in primary normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cell culture, and demonstrate protection of C57BL/6 mice from lethal challenge with an H5 HA-containing influenza virus through immunisation with the recombinant virus. In addition, in-ovo vaccination of 18-day-old embryonated chicken eggs provided 90% and 80% protection against highly stringent lethal challenge by NDV and H5N1 virus, respectively. We propose that this virus has potential as a safe in-ovo live, attenuated, bivalent avian influenza and Newcastle disease virus vaccine.
- Avian influenza