H9N2 avian influenza viruses have circulated widely in domestic poultry around the world, and their outbreaks have resulted in heavy morbidity and mortality. In addition, H9N2 avian influenza viruses were transmitted directly from birds to humans in Hong Kong and mainland China during 1998 and 2003, which prompted the public health authorities to seek protective strategies to control H9N2 influenza viruses. In this study, we attempted to develop a DIVA (differentiating infected and vaccinated animals) strategy for H9N2 avian influenza viruses. This strategy does not interfere with serological monitoring and allows effective control of H9N2 avian influenza. We generated a reassortant H9N1 influenza vaccine strain by reverse genetics and employed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with a truncated N1 antigen expressed in E. coli to differentiate between vaccinated and naturally infected animals. Immunization of BALB/c mice with the inactivated reassortant H9N1 vaccine conferred protection against lethal challenge with H9N2 viruses. Meanwhile, the ELISA can be used to distinguish between vaccination and natural infection quickly and easily. Therefore, this study has opened up a new avenue for the control of H9N2 avian influenza.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2009
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