Evaluation of vaccine delivery systems for inducing long-lived antibody responses to Dermanyssus gallinae antigen in laying hens.

29 Apr 2019
Daniel R. G. Price, Tatiana Küster, Øivind Øines, E. Margaret Oliver, Kathryn Bartley, Francesca Nunn, José Francisco Lima Barbero, James Pritchard, Eleanor Karp-Tatham, Helena Hauge, Damer P. Blake, Fiona M. Tomley & Alasdair J. Nisbet

Dermanyssus gallinae, the poultry red mite, is a global threat to the commercial egg-laying industry. Control of D. gallinae is difficult, with only a limited number of effective pesticides and non-chemical treatments available. Here we characterise the candidate vaccine antigen D. gallinae cathepsin D-1 (Dg-CatD-1) and demonstrate that purified refolded recombinant Dg-Cat-D1 (rDg-CatD-1) is an active aspartyl proteinase which digests haemoglobin with a pH optimum of pH 4. Soluble protein extracts from D. gallinae also have haemoglobinase activity, with a pH optimum comparable to the recombinant protein and both proteinase activities were inhibited by the aspartyl proteinase inhibitor Pepstatin A. Enzyme activity and the ubiquitous localization of Dg-CatD-1 protein in sections of adult female mites is consistent with Dg-CatD-1 being a lysosomal proteinase. Using Dg-CatD-1 as a model vaccine antigen, we compared vaccine delivery methods in laying hens via vaccination with: i) purified rDg-CatD-1 with Montanide™ ISA 71 VG adjuvant; ii) recombinant DNA vaccines for expression of rDg-CatD-1 and iii) transgenic coccidial parasite Eimeria tenella expressing rDg-CatD-1. In two independent trials, only birds vaccinated with rDg-CatD-1 with Montanide™ ISA 71 VG produced a strong and long-lasting serum anti-rDg-Cat-D1 IgY response, which was significantly higher than control birds vaccinated with adjuvant only. Furthermore, we showed that egg laying rates of D. gallinae mites fed on birds vaccinated with rDg-CatD-1 in Montanide™ ISA 71 VG was reduced significantly compared with mites fed on unvaccinated birds.