March 23, 2015


New low-cost vaccine developed to fight poultry diseases 



Scientists from the US Department of Agriculture has developed a vaccine that combats two infectious diseases affecting poultry livestock.


Determined to be safe for chickens of all ages, the vaccine will be used against infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) and Newcastle disease (ND), the main health threats to birds around the world. According to one of its developers, Qingzhong Yu, a microbiogist, the vaccine is safer than current live-attenuated ILT vaccines, and can be effectively administered, at a low cost, by aerosol or drinking water to huge chicken populations.  


Yu, along with his colleagues at the Agricultural Research Service's Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Georgia, USA, employed reverse genetics technology in developing new dual vaccines. This was realised through the insertion of an ILT gene into an ND virus / LaSota vaccine strain, which was in use for more than five decades in resisting ND. 


More than 100 day-old chicks and 120 three-day-old commercial broiler have been tested in vaccine experiments. The outcome was successful as none of the birds showed signs of adverse impact on heath and loss in body weight.

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