Daniel Rock of the University of Illinois in the U.S. will develop a multivalent vector vaccine from the ubiquitous Orf virus that can protect ruminants from multiple diseases with a single dose. Current vaccines for a variety of animal diseases that cause substantial economic costs in the developing world are expensive and require multiple doses. The Orf virus has a wide host range, induces robust and long-lasting antiviral immunity, and can be extensively modified to express antigens from a variety of viruses. It can also pass to non-vaccinated animals providing an inexpensive and easy way of protecting large numbers of animals. Rock will begin by constructing an Orf-based vaccine using known antigens of the peste des petits ruminants virus and assay its efficacy in goats or sheep, its long-term persistence, and its ability to transfer to and protect unvaccinated animals.
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