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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Animal Disease Research » Research » Research Project #442804

Research Project: MCF Vaccine Trials in Bison

Location: Animal Disease Research

Project Number: 2090-32000-045-002-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2026

The objectives of this collaborative research are to evaluate safety and efficacy of new malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) vaccine candidates by performing vaccine trials in bison.

ARS has recently produced a chimeric virus that expresses OvHV-2 glycoprotein B and tested it as a vaccine candidate in rabbits as a laboratory animal model. The vaccine trials in rabbits indicated that this viral-vectored vaccine is safe and capable of inducing protection from disease in 71% of the animals challenged with a fatal dose of OvHV-2. These promising results prompt us to test this vaccine candidate in a more relevant animal species, including bison, which is highly susceptible to MCF and the major target for a MCF vaccine. For the trials in bison, groups of animals will be vaccinated while others will serve as non-vaccinated controls. All animals will be evaluated for safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine. At different time points after immunization, animals will be challenged with OvHV-2 to evaluate vaccine efficacy. Vaccine trials will be performed in the bison facilities at the University of Wyoming. The collaborator will also assist on the management of animals at their facilities, including inoculations, sample collection, euthanasia and necropsies, and pathological examination. ARS will financially contribute to facilities renovation, provide the immunogens and virus for challenging, and assist with sample collection and processing. The data analysis and publications will be shared between the parties. At the completion of the study, we expect to have achieved significant advances on the development of a vaccine to protect susceptible animals from MCF.