An avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) virosome vaccine was prepared and tested for protection of turkeys by aMPV challenge. The vaccine was produced using a detergent-based (Triton X-100) extraction of aMPV subtype C followed by detergent removal with SM2 Bio-Beads. Western blot and virus-neutralization analysis confirmed that the aMPV virosomes contained both the fusion and attachment glycoproteins. Specific-pathogen-free turkeys were immunized either intranasally (IN) or intramuscularly (IM) with two doses of the aMPV virosome vaccine. Vaccination decreased clinical signs of disease following virulent challenge, and IN vaccination was superior to IM vaccination in reducing clinical signs. Decreases in viral load in the respiratory tract were observed in turkeys receiving IN vaccination with aMPV virosomes compared to unvaccinated poults. Increased virus-neutralizing antibody levels against aMPV were observed in birds vaccinated with virosomes. These results demonstrate that immunization of turkeys with aMPV virosomes can be an effective strategy for control of disease.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2