[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Egg drop syndrome (EDS) virus vaccines are routinely produced in embryonated duck eggs (Solyom et al., 1982). This procedure poses the risk of dissemination of pathogens, such as avian influenza virus, as the eggs used are not from specific pathogen free birds. To address this problem, the knob and part of the shaft domain of the fibre protein of the EDS virus (termed knob-s) were expressed in Escherichia coli and assessed as a subunit vaccine. A single vaccination with the recombinant protein induced the production of anti-EDS virus antibodies, as detected by haemagglutination inhibition, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and virus neutralization tests, for at least 20 weeks. A positive correlation was demonstrated between these three assays. A dose-response assessment showed that the vaccine was effective over the range of 2 to 64 microg protein per dose. Two vaccinations with the recombinant protein, administered before the onset of lay, induced high haemagglutination inhibition antibody titres, comparable with those induced by an inactivated whole-virus vaccine. The vaccine did not have any adverse effects on egg production, quality or weight. The present study has shown that two vaccinations with the recombinant knob-s protein elicited high neutralizing antibody titres that persisted for more than 50 weeks of lay.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) is the causative agent of Gumboro disease, an infectious disease of global economic importance in poultry. One of the most effective types of inactivated IBDV vaccine is produced by infecting young chickens with a virulent strain, sacrificing them and extracting the virus from the bursa of Fabricius. The goal of this study was to produce an effective subunit vaccine against IBDV thereby providing an effective means of combating the disease. In areas in which the bursa-derived vaccine is in use, this subunit vaccine would eliminate the use of live birds for the production of inactivated vaccines. The gene for viral protein 2 (VP2) of IBDV was cloned into a Pichia pastoris expression system. This efficient system allowed us to meet the need for inexpensive vaccines required by the poultry industry. Following expression and scale-up, the protein was used to vaccinate chickens, against either Gumboro disease alone or in combination with inactivated Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Full protection was conferred against IBDV following vaccination with the subunit recombinant vaccine. No untoward influence on the response to the NDV vaccine was recorded. Over 250 million birds have already been vaccinated with this vaccine. The advantages of a subunit vaccine over an inactivated one are discussed. This approach will enable rapid adjustment to new virulent strains if and when they appear.