The major outstanding challenges of orbivirus vaccine research is to develop vaccines that can develop vaccines that can afford a broad protective immune response against as many serotypes of each virus as possible, and to develop a high throughout DIVA assay (e.g. an ELISA).
This project will use a coordinated multipartner approach to address these issues, to develop new experimental prototype vaccines and diagnostic approaches. It will build on specific expertise and reagents that are only available within the consortium and will link out to other international efforts in USA and South Africa to develop improved vaccines for these diseases.
The consortium includes a number of industrial partners who are already active in vaccine manufacture for these and other veterinary diseases, in order to ensure that findings of the research are transferred as soon as possible into commercial vaccines for European livestock. The project also includes two SMEs, who will be specially involved in the development of DIVA compatible diagnostic tests.
In summary, the specific objectives of the project will be: to develop multivalent vaccines using different approaches for orbiviruses responsible for livestock diseases, in particular Bluetongue Virus (BTV), African Horse Sickness Virus (AHSV) and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (EHDV); to understand the best vaccination strategy to elicit multi-serotype protection for these viruses in livestock and analyze immune responses for each vaccination strategy to elicit multi-serotype protection for these viruses in livestock and analyze immune responses for each of the novel vaccines developed in order to differentiate between vaccinated and infected animals.