1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Identify and map highly conserved B-cell epitopes common to surface of H5 and H9 avian influenza (AI) and to test their suitability as homotypic or universal vaccine components.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
In this study, recombinant epitope mapping will be accomplished using sequence analysis of hemagglutinin genes of H5 and H9 avian influenza virus, and epitopes generated in comprehensive conformer-libraries to be displayed on filamentous bacteriophages. These epitopes will be selected for high evolutionary conservation and designed to elicit cross neutralization against diverse H5 and H9 avian influenza viruses. Most promising H5 and H9 epitopes will be used to immunize chickens and examine for ability to protect from H5 and H9 avian influenza virus challenge, respectively.
This research is related to inhouse objective 2: Develop vaccines that effectively stop outbreaks, allow differentiation from natural infection and can be administered in a cost effective manner.
Chickens were immunized with an avian influenza virus and the eggs were collected for antibody extraction. Antibodies of the class IgY were isolated and purified from egg yolks, and sent to research partners in Israel for screening inhibition of H5 avian influenza viruses. This project will lead to more effective avian influenza vaccines for poultry.