The Goose/Guangdong-lineage H5 viruses have evolved into diverse clades and subclades based on their hemagglutinin (HA) gene during their circulation in wild birds and poultry. Since late 2013, the clade 126.96.36.199 viruses have become widespread in poultry and wild bird populations around the world. Different subtypes of the clade 188.8.131.52 H5 viruses, including H5N1, H5N2, H5N6, and H5N8, have caused vast disease outbreaks in poultry in Asia, Europe, and North America. In this study, we developed a new H5N1 inactivated vaccine by using a seed virus (designated as Re-8) that contains the HA and NA genes from a clade 184.108.40.206 virus, A/chicken/Guizhou/4/13(H5N1) (CK/GZ/4/13), and its six internal genes from the high-growth A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (H1N1) virus. We evaluated the protective efficacy of this vaccine in chickens challenged with one H5N1 clade 220.127.116.11b virus and six different subtypes of clade 18.104.22.168 viruses, including H5N1, H5N2, H5N6, and H5N8 strains. In the clade 22.214.171.124b virus DK/GX/S1017/13–challenged groups, half of the vaccinated chickens shed virus through the oropharynx and two birds (20%) died during the observation period. All of the control chickens shed viruses and died within 6 days of infection with challenge virus. All of the vaccinated chickens remained healthy following challenge with the six clade 126.96.36.199 viruses, and virus shedding was not detected from any of these birds; however, all of the control birds shed viruses and died within 4 days of challenge with the clade 188.8.131.52 viruses. Our results indicate that the Re-8 vaccine provides protection against different subtypes of clade 184.108.40.206 H5 viruses.
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Vol. 60 • No. 1s