A Novel Recombinant Newcastle Disease Virus Vectored DIVA Vaccine against Peste des Petits Ruminants in Goats
Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV, species: small ruminant morbillivirus) is the causative agent of the eponymous notifiable disease, the peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in wild and domestic sheep and goats. Mortality rates vary between 50% and 100%, causing significant losses of estimated 1.5 to 2 billion US Dollars per year. Live-attenuated PPRV vaccine strains are used in the field for disease prevention, but the application of a more thermostable vaccine enabling differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals (DIVA) would be highly desirable to achieve the goal of global disease eradication. We generated a recombinant Newcastle disease virus (rNDV) based on the live-attenuated NDV Clone 30 that expresses the surface protein hemagglutinin (H) of PPRV strain Kurdistan/11 (rNDV_HKur). In vitro analyses confirmed transgene expression as well as virus replication in avian, caprine, and ovine cells. Two consecutive subcutaneous vaccinations of German domestic goats with rNDV_HKur prevented clinical signs and hematogenic dissemination after an intranasal challenge with virulent PPRV Kurdistan/11. Virus shedding by different routes was reduced to a similar extent as after vaccination with the live-attenuated PPRV strain Nigeria 75/1. Goats that were either not vaccinated or inoculated with parental rNDV were used as controls. In summary, we demonstrate in a proof-of-concept study that an NDV vectored vaccine can protect against PPR. Furthermore, it provides DIVA-applicability and a high thermal tolerance.