Submitted to: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Associ
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 20, 2005
Publication Date: July 20, 2008
Citation: Suarez, D.L. 2008. Experimental vaccinations for avian influenza virus including DIVA approaches. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Association., July 20-23, 2008, New Orleans, Louisiana. p. 48-52.
Interpretive Summary: Avian influenza virus causes mild to severe disease in poultry, including chickens, turkeys, and ducks. Vaccination is being increasingly used to control the disease, but the vaccines currently available have severe limitations on how they can be used. The paper is a review of what is currently available for vaccines and what experimental vaccines are available that may provide better results in the future. One of the biggest issues to be addressed is the need for vaccine that can be given quickly and cheaply to large numbers of birds once they are on the farm. Current vaccines, because they require a needle injection, can’t be easily used for mass vaccination when most poultry farms have 100,000 birds or more. Proposed experimental vaccines may allow for mass vaccination approaches, but none have been tested on a commercial scale.
We continue to improve our understanding of avian immunology and are gaining new technological tools that can be used for the immunization of domestic animals. With all these advances we still have to balance the protection that we receive from treatment (i.e vaccination) versus the cost to administer the treatment. The poultry industry is an extremely difficult sector of animal agriculture to vaccinate for because of the low value for individuals birds, the short production lives for most birds, and the costs to produce and administer vaccines. The ideal future vaccines would be available at low cost, be administered by mass administration methods, have no or limited vaccine reactions, allow differentiation of vaccinated from infected animals (DIVA), provide rapid onset of immunity even in the face of maternal or preexisting immunity, provide long-term protection, work in a variety of poultry species when needed, and provide broad cross protection for antigenically variable targets. Current vaccines are far from these ideal goals, and the most optimistic predictions of future vaccines won’t live up to all of these expectations. However, currently available and future vaccine technology can provide significant improvements over available vaccines.