We report the development of a cold adapted strain of avian pneumovirus (APV) and its evaluation as a live vaccine candidate in 2-week-old turkey poults. A US isolate of APV (APV/MN/turkey/1-a/97) was serially passaged in Vero cells for 41 passages and then adapted to grow at sub-optimal temperatures by growing successively at 35, 33 and 31°C for eight passages at each temperature. The virus thus adapted to grow at 31°C was used as a candidate vaccine. The birds were vaccinated with two different doses of cold adapted virus and challenged with virulent virus 2 weeks after vaccination. No clinical signs were observed post-vaccination. Upon challenge, no clinical signs were seen in vaccinated birds but severe clinical signs were seen in non-vaccinated, challenged birds. The signs included unilateral or bilateral mucoid nasal discharge, watery eyes and swelling of infraorbital sinuses. The antibody levels in vaccinated birds were not very high. None of the vaccinated birds were found to shed virus after challenge in their choanal secretions whereas all of the non-vaccinated, challenged birds shed the virus. The absence of clinical signs and virus shedding in vaccinated birds as compared to that in non-vaccinated birds suggests that the cold adapted strain of APV is a viable candidate for use as a live, attenuated vaccine in turkeys.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported in part by grants from Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and Rapid Agricultural Response Fund of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Avian pneumovirus
- Cold adapted mutants