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Assessment of recombinant beak and feather disease virus capsid protein as a vaccine for psittacine beak and feather disease

Bonne, N., Shearer, P., Sharp, M., Clark, P. and Raidal, S. (2009) Assessment of recombinant beak and feather disease virus capsid protein as a vaccine for psittacine beak and feather disease. Journal of General Virology, 90 (3). pp. 640-647.

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Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) is a significant pathogen of wild Australasian and African psittacine birds. We assessed the immunogenicity of recombinant BFDV capsid (recBFDVcap) to protect against the development of psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD). Long-billed corellas (Cacatua tenuirostris) (n=13) received (by injection) 1 ml vaccine containing 10 μg recBFDVcap on day 0 and 0.4 ml vaccine containing 66.8 μg recBFDVcap on day 11. All vaccinated corellas and five non-vaccinated control corellas were given 0.4 ml BFDV suspension [titre=log2 12 haemagglutination units (HAU) 50 μl-1] intramuscularly and 0.1 ml orally 16 days after booster vaccination. Blood was collected during the vaccination period and blood and feathers were collected after BFDV administration. Testing of blood samples included BFDV DNA detection by PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR) as well as antibody detection by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) and on feather samples, BFDV DNA and antigen was detected by haemagglutination (HA) and qPCR. Four of 97 blood samples collected from vaccinated birds after virus challenge tested positive by PCR, whereas 17 of 35 samples taken from non-vaccinated control corellas tested positive. Vaccinated birds did not develop feather lesions, had only transient PCR-detectable viraemia and had no evidence of persistent infection 270 days post-challenge using PCR, histopathology and immunohistochemistry. Non-vaccinated control corellas developed transient feather lesions and had PCR, HI and HA test results consistent with PBFD. They were BFDV PCR-positive for up to 41 days post-challenge and qPCR demonstrated reduced virus replication in vaccinated birds compared with non-vaccinated control birds.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Society for General Microbiology
Copyright: © 2009 SGM.
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