“The approach is quick and highly successful in generating vaccines against multiple viruses of poultry health and economic importance”.
Researchers at Lancaster University have applied a novel genome editing approach to engineer a vaccine that can be used to protect poultry birds from two diseases simultaneously; Newcastle disease and Infectious laryngotracheitis
Application of CRISPR/Cas9 to generate novel vaccines
In a study published recently in the journal Vaccines, researchers at Lancaster University have, for the first time, applied revolutionary clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-associated protein-9 nuclease (CRISPR/Cas9) gene-editing technologies to craft fusion gene of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) into the genome of infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV). The fusion gene of the virus is one of the key factors to allow virus to bind into the cell and to the trigger immune system of the bird. Thus this protein can provide immunity against NDV that can otherwise cause disease.
Easy Application and Established Approach
Dr Muhammad Munir, Lecturer of Molecular Virology at Lancaster University stated, “ILTV-based vaccines can be mass applied by sprays to thousands of birds which alleviates the suffering of birds from capturing and injection”
“ILTV and NDV are main pathogens of poultry health concerns, and usage of this single virus will protect poultry birds from both diseases, further helping animal welfare for repeated administration of multiple vaccines” Dr Munir further emphasised.
The novel CRISPR/Cas9 proposes multiple solutions to otherwise untreated diseases and now application of this revolutionary technology for the development of better vaccines against poultry viruses will be a stepping stone to not only improve animal wellbeing but also to enhance production and to safeguard food security.