The project entitled “Assessment of the immunogenicity of a bivalent porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome/Nipah virus vaccine” was successfully funded by the Transnational Access Activities (TNA): Veterinary Biocontained Facility Network (VetBioNet).
Nipah is a virus which can be transmitted to human through a direct contact with infected animals such as bats and pigs or their body fluids. The deadly virus can also be transmitted from human-to-human. Nipah virus was first recognized in 1999, following outbreaks in Malaysia and Singapore. The outbreaks caused fatality in human and devasted the swine industry. While vaccines against PRRSV are widely used and have shown some efficacy, there are currently no drugs or vaccines for Nipah virus infection.
To prevent future outbreaks, Dr. Nanchaya Wanasen, a senior researcher of the Virology and Cell Technology Research Team, is collaborating with Prof. Simon Graham and Dr. Rebecca McLean from The Pirbright Institute (TPI), UK to develop a recombinant live attenuated PRRSV vaccine expressing the Nipah virus protective antigen as a bivalent vaccine. This vaccine would aid in the prevention and control of PRRS and provide immunity to prevent Nipah virus infection. The vaccine will help to minimize the economic impact of Nipah virus outbreaks and reduce the threat to public health.
The BIOTEC-TPI team will be funded for £61,350 (2,504,000 Baht) to access an Animal Biosafety Security Level 3 facility at the Animal and Plant Health Agency, UK, technological platforms and sample collections.
Posted on 4 February 2021.