Start Date: Feb 01, 2007
End Date: Sep 30, 2011
New vaccine approaches for controlling avian influenza virus (AIV) in poultry will be developed following application of antigen via different routes of exposure to the mucosal system. Characterization of the mucosal immune response following vaccination and challenge will be used to extend the understating of the role of local immunity against AIV. Novel mucosal vaccines will be developed and tested with and without adjuvants to enhance immunological response to vaccination. The protective role of serum and mucosal antibodies will be ascertained by passive administration of antibodies to naive birds followed by challenge. The role of cell mediated immunity against avian influenza will be determined following adaptive transfer of isolated lymphocyte fractions from birds previously exposed to live avian influenza and provided to naïve birds prior to challenge. The pathogenomic basis of protection will be delineated by genomic characterization through sequence analysis of immune regulatory factors, including cytokines and toll-like receptors, from immunologically competent and naïve birds. Reverse genetics will be used for vaccine development and pathogenesis studies with AIV by replacement or inactivation of genes involved in virulence and evasion of the host immune response. A comparison of pathogenesis from recombinant viruses will allow characterization of proteins and motifs involved with establishment of viral infection on mucosal surfaces which may be targets for vaccine development.