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Variation in protection of four divergent avian influenza virus vaccine seed strains against eight clade 2.2.1 and Egyptian H5N1 high pathogenicity variants in poultry

Erica Spackman, David E. Swayne, Mary J. Pantin-Jackwood, Xiu-Feng Wan, Mia K. Torchetti, Mohammad Hassan, David L. Suarez, Marianna Sa e Silva
Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 2014 v.8 no.6 pp. 654-662
Influenza A virus, antigenic variation, chickens, control methods, death, disease control, divergent evolution, hemagglutination, hemagglutination inhibition test, hemagglutinins, morbidity, mortality, pathogenicity, poultry diseases, vaccination, viral antibodies, viral vaccines, viruses, Egypt
Background Highly pathogenic (HP) H5N1 avian influenza virus (AIV) was introduced to Egyptian poultry in 2006 and has since become enzootic. Vaccination has been utilized as a control tool combined with other control methods, but for a variety of reasons, the disease has not been eradicated. In 2007, an antigenically divergent hemagglutinin subclade,, emerged from the original clade 2.2.1 viruses. Objectives The objective was to evaluate four diverse AIV isolates for use as vaccines in chickens, including two commercial vaccines and two additional contemporary isolates, against challenge with numerous clade 2.2.1 and clade H5N1 HPAIV Egyptian isolates to assess the variation in protection among different vaccine and challenge virus combinations. Methods Vaccination-challenge studies with four vaccines and up to eight challenge strains with each vaccine for a total of 25 vaccination-challenge groups were conducted with chickens. An additional eight groups served as sham-vaccinated controls. Mortality, mean death time, morbidity, virus, and pre-challenge antibodies were evaluated as metrics of protection. Hemagglutination inhibition data were used to visualize the antigenic relatedness of the isolates. Results and conclusions Although all but one vaccine-challenge virus combination significantly reduced shed and mortality as compared to sham vaccinates, there were differences in protection among the vaccines relative to one another based on challenge virus. This emphasizes the difficulty in vaccinating against diverse, evolving virus populations, and the importance of selecting optimal vaccine seed strains for successful HPAIV control. Keywords H5N1, highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, poultry