Enhancing DNA vaccine-induced avian influenza hemagglutinin subtype-specific reference antisera production
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When avian influenza virus is isolated, it must be subtyped by determining which of the 16 hemagglutinin (HA) and nine neuraminidase (NA) proteins it has. Hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test used for identifying HA subtype, uses a panel of subtype-specific antibodies against each of the HAs. We previously demonstrated that DNA vaccines against different HA subtypes worked as efficiently as the traditional method using whole, inactivated virus, but multiple vaccinations are needed for an equal response. We tested various adjuvants including CpG motifs, different transfection reagents, and chicken cytokines. We also compared different routes of vaccine delivery. Chickens were vaccinated, bled at two-week intervals, and boostered at monthly intervals. HIs were used to assess antibody titers. Interleukin-2 and interferon-1 improved the antibody response against the less antigenic HA tested. Intradermal delivery route also showed potential for use at producing these diagnostic tools.