Highly pathogenic Asian H5-subtype avian influenza viruses have been found in poultry and wild birds worldwide since they were first detected in southern China in 1996. Extensive control efforts have not eradicated them. Vaccination prevents such viruses infecting poultry and reduces the number lost to compulsory slaughter. The study showed the efficacy of inactivated H5 vaccine from the H5N8 virus against highly pathogenic H5N8 and H5N6 avian influenza viruses in chickens.
Material and Methods
Reverse genetics constructed an H5 vaccine virus using the HA gene of the 2014 H5N8 avian influenza virus and the rest of the genes from A/PR/8/34 (H1N1). The vaccine viruses were grown in fertilised eggs, partially purified through a sucrose gradient, and inactivated with formalin. Chickens were immunised i.m. with 1 μg of oil-adjuvanted inactivated H5 antigens.
Single dose H5 vaccine recipients were completely protected from lethal infections by homologous H5N8 avian influenza virus and shed no virus from the respiratory or intestinal tracts but were not protected from lethal infections by heterologous H5N6. When chickens were immunised with two doses and challenged with homologous H5N8 or heterologous H5N6, all survived and shed no virus.
Our results indicate that two-dose immunisations of chickens with H5 antigens with oil adjuvant are needed to provide broad protection against different highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza viruses.