Recombinant fowl poxviruses (rFPVs) were constructed to express genes from serotype 1 Marek's disease virus (MDV) coding for glycoproteins B, E, I, H, and UL32 (gB1, gE, gI, gH, and UL32). An additional rFPV was constructed to contain four MDV genes (gB1, gE, gI, and UL32). These rFPVs were evaluated for their ability to protect maternal antibody–positive chickens against challenge with highly virulent MDV isolates. The protection induced by a single rFPV/gB1 (42%) confirmed our previous finding. The protection induced by rFPV/gI (43%), rFPV/gB1UL32 (46%), rFPV/gB1gEgI (72%), and rFPV/gB1gEgIUL32 (70%) contributed to additional knowledge on MDV genes involved in protective immunity. In contrast, the rFPV containing gE, gH, or UL32 did not induce significant protection compared with turkey herpesvirus (HVT). Levels of protection by rFPV/gB1 and rFPV/gI were comparable with that of HVT. Only gB1 and gI conferred synergism in rFPV containing these two genes. Protection by both rFPV/gB1gEgI (72%) and rFPV/gB1gEgIUL32(70%) against Marek's disease was significantly enhanced compared with a single gB1 or gI gene (40%). This protective synergism between gB1 and gI in rFPVs may be the basis for better protection when bivalent vaccines between serotypes 2 and 3 were used. When rFPV/gB1gIgEUL32 HVT were used as vaccine against Md5 challenge, the protection was significantly enhanced (94%). This synergism between rFPV/gB1gIgEUL32 and HVT indicates additional genes yet to be discovered in HVT may be responsible for the enhancement.
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Vol. 47 • No. 3