Highly pathogenic (HP) H5N1 avian influenza (AI) viruses continue to circulate in Asia and have spread to other regions of the world. Though attempts at eradication of the viruses during various outbreaks have been successful for short periods of time, new strains of H5N1 viruses continue to emerge and have become endemic in parts of Asia and Africa. Vaccination has been employed in Vietnam as part of AI control programs. Domestic ducks, which make up a large part of poultry in Vietnam, have been recognized as one of the primary factors in the spread of AI in this country. As a result, ducks have been included in the vaccination programs. Despite the effort to control AI in Vietnam, eradication of the disease has not been possible, due in part to the emergence and spread of new viruses. Here, we tested the abilities of avian influenza oil emulsion vaccines of different genetic origins to protect against disease and viral shedding in both 2-wk-old white leghorn chickens and 1-wk-old Pekin ducks. Seventy-five to 100% of vaccinated chickens were protected from mortality, but viral shedding occurred for at least 4 days post challenge. All but one vaccinated duck were protected from mortality; however, all groups shed virus up through at least 5 days postchallenge, depending on the vaccine and challenge virus used. Differences in levels of hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody titers induced by the vaccines were observed in both chickens and ducks. Although the vaccines tested were effective in protecting against disease and mortality, updated and more efficacious vaccines are likely needed to maintain optimal protection.
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Vol. 54 • No. s1