The overall goal of the research described in this proposal is to develop highly attenuated, replication competent strains of poxviruses that can be delivered orally in bait to vaccinate wildlife reservoirs against diseases of human importance, including Lyme disease and plague. The goal of these vaccines is to break the cycle of infection, preventing or altering infection of the wildlife reservoir and therefore minimizing the possibility of transmission from the reservoir animal to humans. Lyme antigens will be expressed from attenuated strains of poxviruses, containing mutations in the innate immune evasion gene, E3L. These mutant viruses are highly attenuated, yet replication competent, and importantly induce potent immunity when delivered at a mucosal surface. Potential vaccines will be tested for antigen expression, attenuation and immunogenicity in lab-reared mice. By the end of the grant cycle we hope to have vectors ready to evaluate for immunogenicity and safety in trapped or lab-reared wild species in preparation for submission to regulatory agencies for use as oral wildlife vaccines for decreasing the disease burden to Lyme disease. It is anticipated that these vectors would have a significant impact on human disease, by limiting the vector mediated spread of disease from the wildlife reservoir to humans. Since Lyme disease is a high-priority emerging infectious disease, this work will have direct relevance to the mission of RCE program. In addition, these vectors will serve as platforms, which can potentially be used to rapidly develop vaccines for newly emergent infectious diseases and novel agents of bioterrorism or biowarfare.
|Effective start/end date||4/20/09 → 8/31/10|
- US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS): $236,306.00