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A novel recombinant attenuated Newcastle disease virus expressing H9 subtype hemagglutinin protected chickens from challenge by genotype VII virulent Newcastle disease virus and H9N2 avian influenza virus

Xu, Xiaohong, Xue, Cong, Liu, Xinxin, Li, Junjiao, Fei, Yidong, Liu, Zhe, Mu, Jiaqi, Bi, Yuhai, Qian, Jing, Yin, Renfu, Ding, Zhuang
Veterinary microbiology 2019 v.228 pp. 173-180
Newcastle disease, immunoglobulin A, Avian orthoavulavirus 1, genes, vaccination, open reading frames, antibodies, viruses, genotype, viral shedding, lethal dose, virulence, pathogens, flocks, hemagglutinins, prototypes, vaccine development, eggs, chickens, Influenza A virus, vaccines, avian influenza
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) and H9 subtype avian influenza virus (AIV) are two avian pathogens across the globe. Inasmuch as most poultry flocks worldwide are vaccinated with a live low-virulence or attenuated NDV vaccine, we embarked on the development of vaccine prototypes that would have dual specificities and would allow a single immunization against both avian influenza (AI) and Newcastle disease (ND). Therefore, in the present work, a cloned full-length copy of the genome of the lentogenic NDV strain rmNA-1 was selected as a backbone vector to construct three chimeric NDVs that expressed (i) the ORF encoding the HA, (ii) the ectodomain of HA fused with the transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic tail regions derived from the NDV F protein and (iii) the ectodomain of HA fused with a short GS linker and the GCN4 sequences, and designated as rmNA-H9, rmNA-H9F, and rmNA-H9 (ECTO), respectively. rmNA-H9, rmNA-H9F, and rmNA-H9 (ECTO) stably expressed the modified HA gene for 10 egg passages and the three recombinants were found innocuous to chickens. The insertion of the chimeric HA-F, rather than HA-ECTO or ORF of HA, resulted in a recombinant virus with enhanced incorporation of the HA protein into the viral surface. A single immunization of SPF chickens with the three recombinants induced NDV- and AIV H9-specific antibodies, and protected chickens against a challenge with a lethal dose of velogenic NDV or AIV H9N2. Remarkably, non-shedding of influenza virus and higher levels of H9 subtype HI titers were observed 7 days post challenge (dpc) in rmNA-H9F vaccinated chickens, than other recombinants. Furthermore, a prime-boost vaccination of chickens with rmNA-H9F induced higher levels of NDV- and H9- HI and secretory IgA, as well as reduced viral shedding and virus-induced gross lesions, compared with the commercial vaccine. Therefore, the recombinant rmNA-H9F is a promising bivalent vaccine candidate against NDV and H9 subtype AIV in chickens.