September 30,2014 | Vol. 3
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New achievements made in PPR vaccines research

Recently, researchers at the Institute of Animal Sciences (IAS) of CAAS, successfully assembled and released virus-like particles of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in an insect cell-baculovirus system. The research results have been published online in the PLoS ONE on August 12, 2014.

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious and economically important viral disease of domestic and some wild small ruminants, and in particular, of goats and sheep. It is notifiable to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE). In China, PPR was first reported in Tibet in 2007, and PPR outbreak was reported in more than 20 provinces and cities up to now. PPR outbreaks can cause severe economic losses, owing to its high morbidity and mortality. Therefore, development of an effective vaccine for the prevention and control of PPR is particularly important.

In this study, VLPs of PPRV were generated in a baculovirus system through simultaneous expression of PPRV matrix (M) protein and hemaglutin in (H) or fusion (F) protein. The released VLPs showed morphology similar to that of the native virus particles. Subcutaneous injection of these VLPs (PPRVH, PPRV-F) into mice and goats elicited PPRV-specific IgG production, increased the levels of virus neutralizing antibodies, and promoted lymphocyte proliferation. Without adjuvants, the immune response induced by the PPRV-H VLPs was comparable to that obtained using equivalent amounts of PPRV vaccine. 
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