Volume 1081, Issue 1 p. 174-181

Principles for Vaccine Protection in Chickens and Domestic Waterfowl against Avian Influenza

Emphasis on Asian H5N1 High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza



U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, Athens, Georgia, USA

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First published: 17 November 2006
Citations: 60
Address of correspondence: David E. Swayne, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, 934 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30605. Voice: 706-546-3433; fax: 706-546-3161.
 e-mail: [email protected]


Abstract: The H5N1 highly pathogenic (HP) avian influenza (AI) epizootic began with reports of mortality from China in 1996 and, by June 2005, caused outbreaks of disease in nine additional Asian countries, affecting or resulting in culling of over 200 million birds. Vaccines can be used in programs to prevent, manage, or eradicate AI. However, vaccines should only be used as part of a comprehensive control strategy that also includes biosecurity, quarantine, surveillance and diagnostics, education, and elimination of infected poultry. Potent AI vaccines, when properly used, can prevent disease and death, increase resistance to infection, reduce field virus replication and shedding, and reduce virus transmission, but do not provide “sterilizing immunity” in the field; i.e., vaccination does not completely prevent AI virus replication. Inactivated AI vaccines and a recombinant fowlpox-H5-AI vaccine are licensed and used in various countries. Vaccines have been shown to protect chickens, geese, and ducks from H5 HPAI. The inactivated vaccines prevented disease and mortality in chickens and geese, and reduced the ability of the field virus to replicate in gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Although the Asian H5N1 HPAI virus did not cause disease or mortality in ducks, the use of inactivated vaccine did reduce field virus replication in the respiratory and intestinal tracts. The inactivated vaccine protected geese from morbidity and mortality, and reduced challenge virus replication. The recombinant fowlpox-H5-AI vaccine has provided similar protection, but the vaccine is used only in chickens and with the advantage of application at 1 day of age in the hatchery.