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Combatting IBV with nanotechnology

The USDA is funding research into developing a technology platform for rapid production of effective nanovaccines against key poultry diseases, with infectious bronchitis taking the lead.

The economic success of the US poultry industry hinges on extensive use of vaccines to control bacterial and viral infections. Fortunately, vaccination programs are available to combat many of the important pathogens that impact broilers during their short-lived cycle of production.

More efficient poultry vaccination

However, these vaccines do not provide sufficient control against emerging infections and most of them are not stable under field conditions. Polyanhydride nanoparticles (PANs) have been shown to be safe for use in many food animals and humans. In the project scheduled for completion in 2019, the team of experts in nanotechnology, molecular biology, vaccines and poultry diseases will develop polyanhydride nanoparticle-based vaccines (i.e., nanovaccines) as a technology platform for more efficient poultry vaccination.
The team will first test the technology in a model system with infectious bronchitis virus, which can cause severe economic losses to the poultry industry. They will focus their efforts on utilising biodegradable PANs to improve efficacy and immunogenicity of IBV vaccine constructs.

Practical use in the poultry industry

To test this hypothesis, they will first evaluate the tissue distribution and safety of PANs in chicken following administration of increasing levels of PANs to ensure their practical use in the poultry industry. Next, they will characterise the sustained release of IBV antigens from PANs. Then the stability and biological activity of the released antigens will be evaluated and an optimised immunisation protocol will be utilised to examine immunogenicity of the nanovaccine in chickens.
The encapsulation of both IBV subunit proteins and whole inactivated virus into the PANs will enable the rapid production of an efficacious vaccine. The protective efficacy of PAN-based vaccines in a challenge model of IB in comparison to available IB live-attenuated vaccines, the standard in commercial poultry production will then be evaluated. Such studies will provide valuable information on the viability of using nanoparticles as a vaccine platform in poultry.
[Source: USDA ]


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