The road from research to application and development can be long, but Dr. Éva Nagy is nearing a milestone in her work in veterinary virology as she works with Mexico-based vaccine company, Avimex Animal Health, on poultry vaccine development.
Nagy, a professor and researcher in the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada, and her research team are using a strain of fowl adenovirus, FAdV-9, a strain that doesn't cause disease in poultry, as a vaccine vector for recombinant virus vaccine.
The biological platform went to Avimex in 2010, but they are now at the stage that they are confident it will be a success, says Nagy. This platform will have many applications for many different avian viruses, such as Newcastle disease virus, avian influenza virus, infectious bronchitis virus, and even for bacteria.
"The significance of the FAdV-9 system is that we can generate multivalent vaccines and very importantly it allows us to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA)," adds Nagy.
At present, Avimex is working on the registration of FAdV-9 and scaling up production. Nagy also provided a second platform, FAdV-4, to Avimex more recently. Vaccine development with this platform is not as fully developed. Nagy worked on the licensing process for FAdV-9 and FAdV-4 with the University of Guelph's Catalyst Centre.
Funding for Nagy's work was provided by the Canadian Poultry Research Council in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
Nagy is a member of the Poultry Health Research Network, which was recently launched at the University of Guelph. Network researchers work collaboratively to find solutions to a wide-range of poultry issues and offer expertise in a wide range of areas, from virology and vaccine development and disease modelling, to field-level issues that affect flock health and welfare such as parasite management and caging systems and lighting in barns.