Avian influenza viruses of the H5 and H7 hemagglutinin subtypes, and Newcastle disease virus (NDV), are important pathogens in poultry worldwide. Specifically, the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus is a particular threat because it has now occurred in more than 40 countries on several continents. Inasmuch as most chickens worldwide are vaccinated with a live NDV vaccine, we embarked on the development of vaccine prototypes that would have dual specificity and would allow a single immunization against both avian influenza and Newcastle disease. Using reverse genetics, we constructed a chimeric avian influenza virus that expressed the ectodomain of the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase gene of NDV instead of the neuraminidase protein of the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Our second approach to creating a bivalent vaccine was based on expressing the ectodomain of an H7 avian influenza virus hemagglutinin in a fusogenic and attenuated NDV background. The insertion into the NDV genome of the foreign gene (containing only its ectodomain, with the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains derived from the F protein of NDV) resulted in a chimeric virus with enhanced incorporation of the foreign protein into virus particles. A single immunization of chickens with this improved vaccine prototype virus induced not only a 90% protection against an H7N7 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, but also complete immunity against a highly virulent NDV. We propose that chimeric constructs should be developed for convenient, affordable, and effective vaccination against avian influenza and Newcastle disease in chickens and other poultry.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 23 May 2006
- Avian influenza virus
- Newcastle disease virus