Researchers develop new vaccine for ILT
Swiss scientists have made a breakthrough in developing a new vaccine to combat infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) in poultry.
The virus, which targets the respiratory system of chickens, leads to reduced egg production, weight losses and in severe cases, is fatal.
Until now, the vaccine for ILT has been a live attenuated one, which means that although it is effective, in some cases virus particles mutate and can cause disease.
Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new virus that does not pose this risk. Instead of using a weakened virus, the vaccine uses virus-like particles that the immune system can recognise but won’t cause the disease.
Dr Nina Wolfrum, who is part of the research group that developed the vaccine, then tested how effective the vaccine is when compared to the current, live attenuated vaccine. The findings showed that the new vaccine is safe and produces no obvious side-effects.
The research also showed that this new vaccine does produce an immune response against ILT infection, although further research is needed. In the future, the vaccine could be useful in preventing ILT in poultry flocks, improving animal welfare and reducing economic losses.
Dr Wolfrum will discuss her findings at this week’s Microbiology Society’s focused meeting: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis of Avian Viruses, which is taking place at St Catherine’s College, Oxford.
source poultry world