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Vaccine. 2009 Aug 13;27(37):5085-90. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.06.048. Epub 2009 Jun 30.

Live vaccination with an H5-hemagglutinin-expressing infectious laryngotracheitis virus recombinant protects chickens against different highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses of the H5 subtype.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Greifswald - Insel Riems, Germany.


Recently, we described an infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV, gallid herpesvirus 1) recombinant, which had been attenuated by deletion of the viral dUTPase gene UL50, and abundantly expressed the hemagglutinin (HA) gene of a H5N1 type highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) of Vietnamese origin. In the present study, efficacy of this vectored vaccine (ILTV-DeltaUL50IH5V) against different H5 HPAIV was evaluated in 6-week-old chickens. After a single ocular immunization all animals developed HA-specific antibodies, and were protected against lethal infection not only with the homologous HPAIV isolate A/duck/Vietnam/TG24-01/2005 (H5N1, clade 1, hemagglutinin amino acid sequence identity 100%), but also with heterologous HPAIV A/swan/Germany/R65/2006 (H5N1, clade 2.2, identity 96.1%) or HPAIV A/chicken/Italy/8/98 (H5N2, identity 93.8%). No symptoms of disease were observed after challenge with the H5N1 viruses, and only 20% of H5N2 challenged animals developed minimal clinical signs. Real-time RT-PCR analyses of oropharyngeal swabs revealed limited challenge virus replication, but the almost complete absence of HPAIV RNA from cloacal swabs indicated that no generalized infections occurred. Thus, unlike several previous vectors, ILTV-DeltaUL50IH5V was able to protect chickens against different HPAIV isolates of the H5 subtype. Vaccination with HA-expressing ILTV also allowed differentiation of immunized from AIV-infected animals by serological tests for antibodies against influenza virus nucleoprotein.

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