Recombinant adenovirus expressing the haemagglutinin of peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) protects goats against challenge with pathogenic virus; a DIVA vaccine for PPR

Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) is a morbillivirus that can cause severe disease in sheep and goats, characterised by pyrexia, pneumo-enteritis, and gastritis. The socio-economic burden of the disease is increasing in underdeveloped countries, with poor livestock keepers being affected the most. Current vaccines consist of cell-culture attenuated strains of PPRV, which induce a similar antibody profile to that induced by natural infection. Generation of a vaccine that enables differentiation of infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA) would benefit PPR control and eradication programmes, particularly in the later stages of an eradication campaign and for countries where the disease is not endemic. In order to create a vaccine that would enable infected animals to be distinguished from vaccinated ones (DIVA vaccine), we have evaluated the immunogenicity of recombinant fowlpox (FP) and replication-defective recombinant human adenovirus 5 (Ad), expressing PPRV F and H proteins, in goats. The Ad constructs induced higher levels of virus-specific and neutralising antibodies, and primed greater numbers of CD8+ T cells than the FP-vectored vaccines. Importantly, a single dose of Ad-H, with or without the addition of Ad expressing ovine granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor and/or ovine interleukin-2, not only induced strong antibody and cell-mediated immunity but also completely protected goats against challenge with virulent PPRV, 4months after vaccination. Replication-defective Ad-H therefore offers the possibility of an effective DIVA vaccine.

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