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Avian Pathol. 2003 Feb;32(1):47-55.

Development of a DIVA (Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals) strategy using a vaccine containing a heterologous neuraminidase for the control of avian influenza.

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National Reference Laboratory for Newcastle Disease and Avian Influenza, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Via Romea 14/A 35020 Legnaro, Italy.


The present paper reports of the development and validation of a control strategy for avian influenza infections in poultry. The "DIVA" (Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals) strategy is based on the use of an inactivated oil emulsion vaccine containing the same haemagglutinin (H) subtype as the challenge virus, but a different neuraminidase (N). The possibility of using the heterologous N subtype, to differentiate between vaccinated and naturally infected birds, was investigated through the development of an "ad hoc" serological test based on the detection of specific anti-N1 antibodies. This was achieved using a baculovirus expressing a recombinant N1 protein. The A/ck/Pakistan/H7N3 virus was used as a vaccine and birds were challenged with the HPAI A/ty/Italy/4580/V99/H7N1 strain. The homologous H group ensured a clinical protection of 93% regardless of the vaccination scheme used, and was able to prevent viraemia and muscle colonization in the clinically healthy challenged birds. However, it was not able to prevent viral shedding. The "ad hoc" serological assay was developed as an indirect immunofluorescence test, and was validated using 608 field sera, and showed an "almost perfect agreement" (Kappa value) with the HI test, with relative sensitivity and specificity values of 98.1 and 95.7, respectively. The results of the present investigation suggest that the "DIVA" control strategy may represent a tool for the control of avian influenza infections in poultry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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