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Virus-Like Particle Based Vaccine Provides High Level of Protection Against Homologous H5N8 HPAIV Challenge in Mule and Pekin Duck, Including Prevention of Transmission

Tatár-Kis, Tímea, Dán, Ádám, Felföldi, Balázs, Bálint, Ádám, Rónai, Zsuzsanna, Dauphin, Gwenaelle, Pénzes, Zoltán, El-Attrache, John, Gardin, Yannick, Palya, Vilmos
Avian diseases 2018 v.63 no.sp1 pp. 193-202
Influenza A virus, Pekin, antigens, avian influenza, ducks, emulsions, hemagglutinins, humans, pandemic, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), vaccination, virus transmission, virus-like particle vaccines, viruses, waterfowl, wild birds, Africa, Asia, Europe, North America
The most recent pandemic clade of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5, clade, spread widely, with the involvement of wild birds, most importantly wild waterfowl, carrying the virus (even asymptomatically) from Asia to North America, Europe, and Africa. Domestic waterfowl being in regular contact with wild birds played a significant role in the H5Nx epizootics. Therefore, protection of domestic waterfowl from H5Nx avian influenza infection would likely cut the transmission chain of these viruses and greatly enhance efforts to control and prevent disease outbreak in other poultry and animal species, as well as infection of humans. The expectation for such a vaccine is not only to provide clinical protection, but also to control challenge virus transmission efficiently and ensure that the ability to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals is retained. A water-in-oil emulsion virus-like particle vaccine, containing homologous hemagglutinin antigen to the current European H5N8 field strains, has been developed to meet these requirements. The vaccine was tested in commercial Pekin and mule ducks by vaccinating them either once, at 3 wk of age, or twice (at 1 day and at 3 wk of age). Challenge was performed at 6 wk of age with a Hungarian HPAIV H5N8 isolate ( Group B). Efficacy of vaccination was evaluated on the basis of clinical signs, amount of virus shedding, and transmission. Vaccination resulted in complete clinical protection and prevention of challenge virus transmission from the directly challenged vaccinated ducks to the vaccinated contact animals.