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Avian influenza virus vaccines: the use of vaccination in poultry production


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Dr. Ossama Motawae, an Egyptian veterinarian, posted an interesting presentation online, explaining the basics of vaccination. Poultry vaccines are widely applied to prevent and control contagious poultry diseases. Their use in poultry production is aimed at avoiding or minimizing the emergence of clinical disease at farm level, thus increasing production.

Vaccines and vaccination programs vary broadly in regard to several local factors (e.g. type of production, local pattern of disease, costs and potential losses) and are generally managed by the poultry industry.

In the last decade, the financial losses caused by the major epidemic diseases of poultry (avian influenza and Newcastle disease) have been enormous for both the commercial and the public sectors.

Thus, vaccination should also be applied in the framework of poultry disease eradication programs at national or regional levels under the official supervision of public Veterinary Services. This paper provides insight on the use of vaccination for the control of poultry infections, with particular emphasis on the control of trans-boundary poultry diseases.

Published in: Science

Avian influenza virus vaccines: the use of vaccination in poultry production

  1. 1. Avian Influenza Virus Vaccines
  2. 2. Ideal Avian Influenza Vaccine 1. Low pathogenic strain, safe to the environment. 2. Able to grow well in eggs, to ensure enough antigen in the vaccine product. 3. Be well matched antigenically with the prevalent viruses.
  3. 3. Limitation of Protection 1. Best protection is in experimental studies with SPF chickens. 2. Field protection is less than in laboratory. 3. Poor quality vaccines. 4. Improper storage and handling of vaccines. 5. Reduced vaccine dose, or number of doses used per bird and length of immunity is important. 6. Improper vaccination technique. 7. Inability to vaccinate 100% of poultry population. 8. Species of birds like ducks and geese are more difficult to get good immune response.
  4. 4. Environmental factors that impact success 1. Immunological competence of birds, control of IBDV and CAV. 2. Presence of maternal antibodies  For broilers research supports a 2 dose regime to provide the best protection throughout the production cycle.  For single dose vaccination, a full dose of vaccine at 7-10 days maybe the best option at the moment. 3. Virus load in environment, high environmental load may require Increasing number of vaccinations.
  5. 5. Environmental factors that impact success 4. HPAI breaks in vaccinated flocks may need minimum of 2 doses and boost every 6 months to optimize protection. 5. Changing virus (drift), periodic testing of emerging field against vaccines every 2 years.
  6. 6. Important Factors for Vaccine Efficacy Vaccine quality 1. HA (antigen) content in vaccine, measured by hemagglutinating activity. 2. Quality of inactivation. 3. Oil emulsion adjuvant. 4. Vaccine stability. 5. Demonstrated quality control by vaccine manufacturers.
  8. 8. Introduction  Current vaccines against avian influenza (AI) virus infections are primarily based on classical inactivated whole-virus preparations.
  9. 9. Introduction  Although administration of these vaccines can protect poultry from clinical disease, sterile immunity is not achieved under field conditions, allowing for undetected virus spread and evolution under immune cover.  Therefore, there is an urgent need for a robust and reliable system of differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals.
  10. 10. Introduction Avian influenza (AI) viruses (AIV) are classified into highly pathogenic and low pathogenicity AIV, depending on the severity of disease in affected species, whereas; 1. Low pathogenicity AIV (LPAIV) are ubiquitous, and represent part of the wild bird ecosystem, particularly in water birds. 2. Highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV) are primarily found as causative agents of outbreaks of fowl plague in poultry.
  12. 12. AIV Outbreaks  Although HPAIV outbreaks have occasionally occurred worldwide, they have, until recently, been restricted in geographic spread to the regional or, at most, national level.
  13. 13. AIV Outbreaks Endemicity of HPAIV in poultry, as observed in several countries in Southeast Asia and Africa, as well as scattered outbreaks in domestic poultry in numerous other countries, prompted mass vaccination campaigns using commercially available vaccines and also led to increased efforts to develop novel vaccines with improved characteristics.
  14. 14. AIV Outbreaks The first lines of defense against AI are: 1. Surveillance 2. Biosecurity 3. Restrictions on movement 4. Rapid and reliable diagnosis 5. Elimination of AI infected poultry Vaccination can be an additional measure in a comprehensive control strategy.
  16. 16. Avian Influenza Vaccines Vaccinating poultry not only enables the protection of chickens from clinical signs and death following challenge with HPAIV, but also reduces virus shedding.
  17. 17. Avian Influenza Vaccines More importantly, it can prevent the spread of the notifiable LPAIV H5 and H7, both of which can spontaneously mutate into highly pathogenic forms, sometimes with only a single nucleotide alteration.
  18. 18. Avian Influenza Vaccines Owing to this potential danger, the application of live virus vaccines based on low pathogenic viruses of the H5 and H7 subtype is not recommended.
  20. 20. Inactivated whole-virus vaccines  Historically, AIV strains used for inactivated vaccines have generally been based on LPAIV obtained from field outbreaks.  The use of HPAIV for this purpose is limited, since this would require high-level biocontainment manufacturing facilities.  Virus preparations are inactivated with beta-propiolactone (EU) or formaldehyde (USA) and administered intramuscularly in an oil emulsion mixture.
  21. 21. Inactivated whole-virus vaccines Homologous vaccines  They are prepared from virus specifying the same haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) subtype as the field virus.  The disadvantage of this is that these vaccines do not allow the detection of infection in vaccinated flocks (DIVA: differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals).
  22. 22. Inactivated whole-virus vaccines Heterologous vaccines The use of heterologous vaccines, containing the same HA subtype as the field virus but a different NA subtype, allows a DIVA approach by differentiating NA-specific serum antibodies.
  23. 23. Inactivated whole virus H5N2 monovalent vaccines Vaccines containing Al/chicken/Mexico/232/94/CPA strain (LPAI): 1. FLU-KEM vaccine (CEVA-Mexico) 2. Optimune AI (Ceva-Biomune) 3. Nobilis Influenza H5 (Intervet) 4. Valvac AI (Boehringer)
  25. 25. Attenuated live vaccines Cold-adapted attenuated influenza vaccines have been developed for humans and equines.
  26. 26. Attenuated live vaccines  The use of attenuated live vaccines (especially of the H5 and H7 subtypes) in poultry is not recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health or the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), since they may potentially mutate into HPAIV by reassortment or mutation of the HA cleavage site.  Moreover, like most inactivated vaccines, these live vaccines do not support an easy DIVA strategy.
  27. 27. Attenuated live vaccines Since the advent of reverse genetics for influenza virus and the development of entirely plasmid-based reverse genetic systems to rescue recombinant influenza virus, without the need for helper virus, the timely generation of recombinant influenza viruses, according to the respective epidemiological situation, has now become possible
  28. 28. Attenuated live vaccines The use of plasmid-based reverse genetics allows the safe and efficient generation of attenuated high-growth reassortant viruses, which derive the genes encoding the envelope proteins HA and/or NA from circulating influenza A viruses and the internal genes from vaccine donor strains, such as influenza A Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) (H1N1) or A/WSN 33 (H1N1).
  29. 29. Attenuated live vaccines To avoid the requirement for high-level biocontainment facilities, and to obtain high virus yields in ECE, the polybasic cleavage site of HPAIV H5 has been altered by deletion and/or mutation of basic amino acids, resulting in proteins specifying a monobasic cleavage site characteristic for LPAIV.
  30. 30. Attenuated live vaccines  The resulting viruses were used as inactivated oil emulsion AI vaccines to immunize chickens, ducks and geese.  They provided effective protection from clinical disease and a significant reduction of virus shedding after challenge.
  32. 32. Vector vaccines  Influenza viruses possess a limited number of immunogenic proteins, including the envelope glycoproteins HA and NA, matrix proteins M1 and M2, nucleoprotein NP and non-structural protein NS1.  Of these, HA has been demonstrated to be the most relevant for inducing neutralizing antibodies.
  33. 33. Vector vaccines  Different chicken viruses have been used as vectors for the expression of AIV proteins.  They include attenuated strains of DNA viruses, such as fowl pox (FP) virus and infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) virus, as well as RNA viruses, such as NDV.
  35. 35. POXVIRUSES
  36. 36. Poxviruses  Attenuated but replication-competent viruses are probably the most economic vaccines, since they combine the immunogenic properties of protein and DNA vaccines and, due to their proliferation in the immunized animal, are efficacious even at low doses.
  37. 37. Poxviruses  Over the last few decades, many virus genomes have become accessible to reverse genetics and DNA manipulation technology, and directed deletion of virulence genes, as well as insertion of foreign genes, has become feasible.
  38. 38. Poxviruses  Poxviruses were among the first viral vectors used for the expression of heterologous proteins.  Avian influenza virus genes were inserted into the genomes of attenuated FP virus (FPV), which were already in use as live-virus vaccines against FP in chickens and turkeys.
  39. 39. Poxviruses  Non-essential regions of the FPV genome, such as the thymidine kinase gene locus, were used as insertion sites and the foreign proteins were expressed under the control of strong poxvirus promoters, for instance, the vaccinia virus H6 promoter.  The considerable size of the FPV genome, of nearly 300 kilobase pairs, allowed not only insertions of single genes but also the simultaneous insertion of several genes, encoding, for example, HA and NA, or HA and NP.
  40. 40. Poxviruses  Single vaccinations with approximately 10 log 5 infectious units of H5 or H7 expressing FPV recombinants protected chickens and ducks against lethal challenge infections with homologous or heterologous AIV of the corresponding subtypes.  However, like other AIV vaccines, HA-expressing FPV did not confer sterile immunity, as demonstrated by the re-isolation of HPAIV challenge virus from tracheal and cloacal swabs.
  41. 41. Poxviruses  Avian influenza virus vaccines based on fowl pox can be produced economically on the chorioallantois membrane of chicken embryos or in primary chicken cell cultures, and can be administered to one-day-old chickens.  However, to obtain optimal protection, individual subcutaneous vaccination (the wing web method) is recommended.
  42. 42. Poxviruses Since the natural host range of FPV is largely limited to chickens, to what extent FPV vector vaccines could be suitable for other species threatened by HPAIV remains to be evaluated in detail.
  43. 43. Poxviruses Although HA-expressing FPV induced specific immune responses in cats, the protection of immunized turkeys was significantly less pronounced than that of chickens.
  44. 44. Poxviruses Furthermore, it has been shown that, in chickens that had previously been immunized against FP, replication of HA-FPV was inhibited, and only insufficient protection against AIV ensued.
  46. 46. Herpes viruses  Like poxviruses, herpes viruses possess large, double stranded DNA genomes that contain numerous genes which are not needed for virus replication in cultured cells, and which could be deleted or replaced by foreign DNA sequences.
  47. 47. Herpes viruses  The ILT virus (ILTV) recombinants, which had been attenuated by deletion of the non-essential deoxyuridine triphosphatase (UL50) or UL0 genes, were used for insertion of the coding sequences of HA subtypes H5 and H7, or NA subtype N1 at the corresponding loci.
  48. 48. Herpesviruses  A single ocular immunisation of chickens with 10 log 4 to 10 log 5 plaque forming units of HA-expressing ILTV-recombinants reliably protected the animals from clinical symptoms after challenge with lethal doses of homologous HPAIV.  However, the death of the animals was delayed, but not prevented, by immunization with NA-expressing ILTV, although AIV-specific antibody responses were induced.
  49. 49. Herpes viruses  The efficacy of HA-expressing ILTV could be further enhanced by coadministration with an NA-expressing recombinant, which parallels the results obtained with other AIV vaccines.
  50. 50. Herpes viruses  One limitation of ILTV-based vector vaccines results from the narrow host range of this virus, which is almost restricted to chickens, and which barely replicates in other avian species, such as turkeys.  In these species, AIV vaccines based on other viral vectors would be preferable.  One candidate might be the apathogenic herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT), which has been used as a live vaccine against Marek’s disease, and further developed as a vector expressing immunogenic proteins of NDV and infectious bursal disease virus.
  51. 51. Herpes viruses Furthermore, HVT-based vaccines are suitable for in ovo vaccination of chickens.