Protective efficacy of several vaccines against highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus under experimental conditions.Vaccine. 2008 Mar 20; 26(13):1688-96.V
Although several vaccines have been developed to protect against highly pathogenic avian influenza of subtype H5N1 'Asia' their efficiency has primarily been assessed individually. Thus, a direct comparison of their performance is still lacking. The following study was conducted to compare the protective efficacy of three commercially available inactivated vaccines based on influenza virus strains of subtypes H5N2 (vaccine A), H5N9 (vaccine B), and H5N3 (vaccine C), as well as two hemagglutinin expressing experimental vector vaccines (modified vaccinia virus Ankara-H5 and Newcastle disease virus-H5) against a lethal dose of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus in chickens. To assess their potential as emergency vaccines, a single immunisation was performed for all vaccines, despite the recommendation of a double-vaccination schedule for commercial vaccines B and C. Overall, all vaccines induced clinical protection against challenge infection 3 weeks after immunisation. No mortality was observed in chickens immunised with vaccine A and viral shedding could not be detected. Immunisation with NDV-H5, vaccine C and MVA-H5 conferred also protection against lethal challenge. However, viral RNA was detected by real-time RT-PCR in swabs of 10%, 20% and 50% of animals, and 0%, 10% and 30% of animals, respectively, shed infectious virus. Immunisation with vaccine B was less protective since 50% of the vaccinated animals shed infectious virus after challenge and 20% of the chickens succumbed to disease. These results indicate that the NDV-H5 vectored vaccine is similarly effective as the best inactivated vaccine. Considering the advantage of live NDV which can be administered via spray or drinking water as well as the potential use of this H5 expressing vector vaccine for an easy DIVA (differentiating infected from vaccinated animals) strategy, NDV-H5 could represent an alternative for extensive vaccination against avian influenza in chickens.