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Development of a plant-based veterinary oral vaccine to combat avian influenza in Vietnam

Research project BL/V/14 (Research action BL)

Contract BL/03/V14 :

Duration of the contract :


Partners :

  • Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology VAST 
  • Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche Vétérinaire et Agrochimique 
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel 

Description :

Context and objectives

The most threatening avian flu strain H5N1 has now spread through over 40 countries in Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa, and has already caused more than $10 billion in losses to poultry farmers. Vietnam has had more cases of H5N1 than any other country. Since late 2003 the H5N1 strain has killed or led to the culling of millions of poultry and killed 42 people. Considering vaccination is the most important measure to prevent pandemics, our work is focused on the development of the veterinary vaccine to combat avian influenza in Vietnam based on the recent achievement in plant based vaccine biotechnology, availability of HA sequence of H5N1 strains isolated from Vietnam and advanced knowledge on influenza vaccines. Therefore the main aims of this project were:
- To produce an influenza subunit vaccine in seeds of A. thaliana (as model plant for rapid evaluation) and soybean (as the ultimate large scale production system).
- To characterize the obtained lines at molecular and biochemical levels
- To evaluate immune responses of produced vaccines and their value for oral vaccination against avian influenza


- Characterization of HA genes of H5N1 viruses and construction of seed specific expression vectors
HA genes of H5N1 viruses isolated in Vietnam were sequenced by Vietnamese partner. The expression vectors were designed by Belgium partner.
- Transformation of the designed vectors into soybean and A. thaliana
The protocol applied for gene transformation of Vietnamese soybean varieties was developed by Vietnamese partner
- Molecular and biochemical characterization of the transgenic lines
SDS-PAGE and Western blot using c-myc tag antibody were developed by the Belgian partner (VUB)
- Evaluation of the efficacy of influenza vaccines produced in the soybean and A. thaliana seeds

Documentation :

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