The efficacy of an inactivated vaccine containing the Eurasian isolate A/chicken/Italy/22A/98 H5N9 (H5N9-It) was compared with that of the fowlpox-vectored TROVAC™-AIV H5 (rFP-AIV-H5) vaccine against an H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza challenge. Five-week-old Muscovy ducks were vaccinated with either H5N9-It (0.5 ml) or rFP-AIV-H5 (5 log10 50% tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50)/dose), followed by a boost at 7 wk of age with the same vaccine (1.0 ml of H5N9-It or 5 log10 TCID50/dose rFP-AIV-H5), and a challenge at 9 wk of age with 107 egg infectious dose (lethality 50%) of A/crested eagle/Belgium/01/2004 (H5N1). All unvaccinated challenged birds showed severe nervous signs (loss of balance, torticollis) starting 7 days postinfection (dpi). None of the vaccinated ducks showed these nervous signs. Shedding was measured in oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs, sampled from 3 to 19 dpi by titration in chicken embryo fibroblasts and by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. Virus shedding was significantly higher in oropharyngeal compared to cloacal swabs. Both vaccines reduced the percentage of positive swabs and the viral load in the swabs, but the reduction was higher with the H5N9-It vaccine. The inactivated vaccine induced hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers (5.4 log2) that were boosted after the second administration (7.5 log2). rFP-AIV-H5–induced HI titers were lower (3 log2 only after the second administration), most probably because the fowlpox vector does not replicate in ducks. Altogether, these results indicate that significant protection from clinical signs and reduction in virus shedding may be achieved in ducks with conventional inactivated or fowlpox-vectored vaccine as compared with nonvaccinated challenged control birds.
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Vol. 51 • No. s1