A non-replicative adenovirus vaccine platform for poultry diseases
Poultry are a vital village livestock asset and are particularly important for the economic independence of women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In times of financial crisis, poultry become the most critical livestock asset due to their versatility and independence. Newcastle disease (ND) is one of the most critical poultry diseases in SSA, with some countries reporting on average ten ND outbreaks per year. Current vaccines against ND are either live or inactivated ND viruses. Inactivated ND vaccines provide incomplete protection, while live vaccines, although protective, may cause disease in uninfected and unvaccinated birds. In addition, current ND vaccines are produced in specific pathogen-free (SPF) chicken embryonated eggs, which are expensive and inefficient as a vaccine production method. Adenovirus (Ads) vectors are extensively used for recombinant vaccines with many advantages, including cost-effective manufacturing, long-term stability, high efficacy, and a well-established safety profile in humans and animals.
The proposed project will use a non-replicative adenovirus to express two major antigenic determinants of protection against ND: the glycoprotein HN and the F protein. The resultant recombinant adenovirus vectored vaccine will be produced in a HEK293 cell culture system rather than SPF eggs. Developing a recombinant ND vaccine that is safe and effective and which has the advantage of efficient production will enhance the availability and affordability of the ND vaccine with major gains for poultry smallholder farmers in Africa. A secondary aim of this project is to transfer technical capacity for recombinant adenovirus vaccine development and production to Ethiopia.
This project is funded through the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund, a partnership between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada, and IDRC. It represents a joint investment of CA$57 million over five years to support the development, production, and commercialization of innovative vaccines against priority livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.