Effect of an immunomodulator on the efficacy of an attenuated vaccine against avian pneumovirus in turkeys

Silke Rautenschlein, Anwar M. Sheikh, Devi P. Patnayak, Richard L. Miller, Jagdev M. Sharma, Sagar M. Goyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Since 1997, avian pneumovirus (APV) has caused estimated annual losses of $15 million to the Minnesota turkey industry. In order to develop an attenuated live vaccine against APV, we serially passaged a Minnesota isolate of APV (APV/MN/turkey/1-a/97) in vitro in cell cultures for 41 passages. Laboratory experiments with this high-passage virus (P41) indicated that the attenuated virus provided immunogenic protection to turkeys against challenge with virulent APV, although some birds showed mild to moderate clinical signs after inoculation. To reduce the residual pathogenicity of P41, while maintaining its immunogenicity, we decided to vaccinate turkeys with P41 in the presence of an immunomodulator, S-28828 (1-n-butyl-2-ethoxymethyl-1H-imidazo[4,5-c]quinolin-4-amine-hydrochloride), which is a potent cytokine inducer. The combined inoculation of S-28828 (5 mg/kg body weight) and P41 resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of virus-induced clinical signs in comparison with birds that received P41 without immunomodulator (P < 0.05). Only 17% of birds inoculated with S-28828 + APV P41 showed mild respiratory symptoms at 5 days postinoculation as compared with 46% of the vaccinated turkeys that did not receive S-28828. Vaccination with either P41 or with P41 + S-28828 protected turkeys against clinical signs and viral replication after challenge with virulent APV. These results indicate that immunomodulators, such as S-28828, may act as good vaccine adjuvants that can reduce the pathogenicity but maintain the immunogenicity of partially attenuated vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-561
Number of pages7
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • APV
  • Attenuated vaccine
  • Cytokines
  • Immunomodulator
  • Turkeys


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