Vaccine Breakthroughs: Fowl Cholera & Infectious Coryza

A new Fowl Cholera vaccine should reach the market in the first quarter of 2010.

The live Pasteurella multocida candidate vaccine, PMP1 or Vaxsafe® PM, has been shown to be a safe and efficacious in the control of Fowl Cholera.

According to Poultry CRC Project Leader and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne Veterinary School, Dr. Peter Scott, “Vaxsafe PM is the first attenuated live Fowl Cholera vaccine of its type in the world and it will provide the various poultry industry sectors with a means to control a disease that is re-emerging in prevalence and which has serious impacts on the productivity and welfare of poultry.”

The increasing restrictions on the use of antibiotics and the limited efficaciousness of killed autogenous vaccines has limited the ability to control Fowl Cholera in the increasing numbers of birds that are being maintained under barn or free range conditions.

During the development of the vaccine, the CRC has used Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) to satisfy the requirements of the regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

To leverage the knowledge acquired, the CRC will run workshops for researchers, moving beyond ‘proof-of-concept’ into the regulatory approval phase in developing health products, such as vaccines.

There has also been a significant development with a project aimed at creating a vaccine for Avibacterium paragallinarum, the cause of Infectious Coryza, an upper respiratory tract infection which reduces egg production in layers and may result in the death of meat chickens.

Avibacterium paragallinarum is one of the most difficult of all organisms to work with in the laboratory and after trying every method they could think of, Project Leader Mike Jennings and his team at the University of Queensland were unable to produce a marked vaccine candidate organism.

The CRC gave the team an extended period of three months to try one last time, but again, there was no success and the CRC cut its losses, cancelling the project in December 2005.

However, the project team refused to accept defeat and doggedly continued work, until a ‘green-fingered’ PhD student, John Lancaster, succeeded in creating a marked candidate vaccine.

The Poultry CRC is now setting up an animal trial to establish whether the marked vaccine effectively controls coryza in chickens.

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