The ongoing outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has recently spread from Asia to Africa and Europe posing a real public threat as HPAI can occasionally infect humans. Ducks play a major role in the epidemiology of AI since wild water fowl, including ducks, constitute the natural reservoir of all subtypes of influenza and is considered as the "Trojan horse" of Asian H5N1 HPAI.
The NOVADUCK project brings together both private (2 companies, 1 SME) and public sector stakeholders (European reference laboratories and agencies on AI) from 4 European countries (France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Hungary) towards the aim of developing and evaluating new highly protective and cost-effective avian influenza live vaccines for ducks, based on live vectors (pox viruses, Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) & Duck Enteritis Virus (DEV)) and in line with the DIVA strategy (Differentiating between Infected and Vaccinated Animals). Viral vectors will be engineered to optimise both their immunogenicity and protective capacities. Vaccine candidates will be pre-screened for safety and immunogenicity using newly developed i duck-specific mmunological tools.
The best vaccine candidates will be evaluated for efficacy in a HPAI challenge-model in ducks. Serological DIVA test able to detect infection in vaccinated duck flocks will be generated and the effect of vaccination on genetic and antigenic drift of H5N1 will be assessed. The NOVADUCK project represents a significant opportunity to considerably boost European competitiveness in the field of AI.
The vaccines to be developed within the project should be efficient in domestic ducks as well as potentially in wild migratory ducks, swans and geese through a single mass administration (spray or drinking water). This could therefore have a tremendous impact in controlling the worldwide increasing dissemination of the virus up to its potential full eradication from the ecosystem.
Field of science
- /medical and health sciences/health sciences/infectious disease/RNA virus/influenza
- /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/pharmacology and pharmacy/pharmaceutical drug/vaccines
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/water treatment processes/drinking water treatment processes
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project