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Generating a new vaccine for protecting poultry from Newcastle disease and controlling viral shedding

Abstract : In addition to influenza, Newcastle disease is one of the two major diseases of poultry that strongly impact the animal health and farming owing to animal bans and depopulations. Vaccines against Newcastle disease are available. They have been developed some decades ago from isolates collected in the 60’s. They usually provide an excellent clinical protection. However, field reports of the last decade, mainly from Africa and Asia, suggest partial vaccination failures in some farms despite proper vaccination. In parallel, in vivo trials have shown that current vaccines provide a good clinical protection against a challenge with recent field strains, but do not prevent shedding of the challenge virus from vaccinated birds. To address this issue, one of the objectives of this study was to generate a new vaccine prototype with improved efficacy against virulent strains circulating worldwide. To generate new engineered attenuated viruses, we first developed an improved reverse genetics system. We demonstrate that the reduction of the number of plasmids to 2 compared to the conventional system based on 4 plasmids does not affect the performances of reverse genetics for virulent strains but significantly increases the yield of attenuated viruses. In a second step, we focused on the behavior of the attenuated and virulent viruses generated by reverse genetics. The viruses were tagged with fluorescent reporter genes to make easier they follow up in cell culture. We show that only virulent strains produce cytopathic effects in vitro. However, both attenuated and virulent strains are able to establish persistent infection in cells without cytopathic effects. Persistently infected cells resist to a super-infection by another virus. In contrast, after co-infection by two different viruses, we show that a cell infected by one virus can be infected by a second one by direct virus trafficking between the cells through cell membrane extensions. This observation supports the possibility of recombination events in the field which are frequently claim in the literature from comparative bioinformatics of field isolates and vaccine strains. Indeed, we show that cells can be infected by multiple viruses through direct contacts between cells. In a last step, a new vaccine prototype has been produced consisting in the substitution of immune-protective antigens in the conventional LaSota vaccine by their homologues derived from an original isolate of Madagascar (2008). We show that this prototype is protective against challenges with three different viruses, including two recent isolates from Africa and Asia.
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Haijin Liu. Generating a new vaccine for protecting poultry from Newcastle disease and controlling viral shedding. Human health and pathology. Université Montpellier, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017MONTT025⟩. ⟨tel-01684253⟩

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