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J Virol. 2007 Jan;81(1):150-8. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Newcastle disease virus-based live attenuated vaccine completely protects chickens and mice from lethal challenge of homologous and heterologous H5N1 avian influenza viruses.

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  • 1National Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, CAAS, 427 Maduan Street, Harbin 150001, People's Republic of China.


H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) has continued to spread and poses a significant threat to both animal and human health. Current influenza vaccine strategies have limitations that prevent their effective use for widespread inoculation of animals in the field. Vaccine strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV), however, have been used successfully to easily vaccinate large numbers of animals. In this study, we used reverse genetics to construct a NDV that expressed an H5 subtype avian influenza virus (AIV) hemagglutinin (HA). Both a wild-type and a mutated HA open reading frame (ORF) from the HPAIV wild bird isolate, A/Bar-headed goose/Qinghai/3/2005 (H5N1), were inserted into the intergenic region between the P and M genes of the LaSota NDV vaccine strain. The recombinant viruses stably expressing the wild-type and mutant HA genes were found to be innocuous after intracerebral inoculation of 1-day-old chickens. A single dose of the recombinant viruses in chickens induced both NDV- and AIV H5-specific antibodies and completely protected chickens from challenge with a lethal dose of both velogenic NDV and homologous and heterologous H5N1 HPAIV. In addition, BALB/c mice immunized with the recombinant NDV-based vaccine produced H5 AIV-specific antibodies and were completely protected from homologous and heterologous lethal virus challenge. Our results indicate that recombinant NDV is suitable as a bivalent live attenuated vaccine against both NDV and AIV infection in poultry. The recombinant NDV vaccine may also have potential use in high-risk human individuals to control the pandemic spread of lethal avian influenza.

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