Immunogenicity study of matrix 2 ectodomain proteins displayed on nodavirus-like particles as a universal avian influenza virus vaccine for chickens

Project summary

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus is highly contagious among birds and constantly causes serious outbreaks in parts of Asia and the Middle East. Failure to eradicate its spread and occurrence can lead to severe economic losses and potential health risks in humans. All the commercially available vaccines against H5N1 (inactivated H5N2 vaccine, reverse genetics vaccine, recombinant fowlpox virus vaccine and DNA vaccine), which express the antigenic glycoprotein of avian influenza, haemagglutinin, are unable to completely stop the virus from circulating. The inactivated vaccines against avian influenza virus (AIV) are commonly developed based on circulating low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses, hence may not be efficacious against other types of HPAI or LPAI strains. These vaccines are strain-specific and require reconstitution to accommodate any new, mutated circulating viral strains. Development of a universal AIV vaccine targeting all AIV strains is urgently in demand. Our research team has shown a promising protective efficacy of nodavirus-like particles displaying three copies of M2e fragment against human influenza A virus in mice model. We hypothesise that expression of the matrix 2 ectodomain (M2e) proteins from avian influenza viruses of avian origin may confer a universal protection against avian influenza viruses in chickens.