Engineered vaccines against hemorrhagic septicemia in ruminants
Hemorrhagic septicemia is an acute, often fatal bacterial disease, mainly in cattle and buffaloes, which is prevalent in Asian and African countries. Hemorrhagic septicemia epidemics are devastating and jeopardize the economic return of animal production, as well as the harvest of vital crops dependent on animal traction. Vaccination is the most efficient and cost-effective method to control hemorrhagic septicemia. However, a primary challenge in developing effective vaccines against this disease is to design vaccines that have a broadly cross-protective immune response against all known variants of the bacteria.
This project aims to overcome this challenge by targeting a key antigen for survival of the pathogen and disease causation; obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the sequence and structural diversity of the target antigen in all related bacteria; and designing commercially-viable, engineered antigens capable of inducing a broadly cross-protective immune response against hemorrhagic septicemia. Surface receptor proteins involved in binding transferrin, which is used by the hemorrhagic septicemia pathogen to acquire iron, will be targeted. These proteins are ideal vaccine targets since they are essential for bacterial survival. This project aims to define the composition of engineered antigens capable of inducing a broadly cross-protective immune response against Pasteurella multocida, the causative agent of hemorrhagic septicemia.
The project is a collaboration between the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto and VIDO-InterVac at the University of Saskatchewan. This team will also collaborate with the Armauer Hansen Research Institute in Ethiopia and the National Centre for Animal Health in Bhutan. This project is funded through the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund.
The Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund (LVIF) is a partnership of 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.