Enhancing protective efficacy of avian influenza vaccines through targeted delivery of protective antigens to chicken immune cells

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Zoology

Abstract

Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are responsible for severe economic losses in poultry production systems throughout the world. Over the past few years, outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses have negatively affected the trade, food security, public health and livelihood of millions of farming and associated communities all around the world. Vaccination is one of the key ways of controlling AIV prevalence in poultry. For this, we need highly effective vaccines. This PhD project proposes to develop new vaccines that elicit rapid, strong and durable humoral and cellular immune responses in chickens against AIV. We will explore various areas of new emerging vaccinology approaches like the use of selective and targeted in situ delivery of antigens to antigen presenting cells (APCs), viral vectors and nanoparticle-based vaccine delivery systems.
This proposed PhD research will provide a platform for the improvement of vaccines against AIV in poultry. Having such novel, highly protective and cost-effective disease control tools and strategies will help to minimise the impact of infectious diseases on farmed animals and offer economic, public health, environmental and social benefits globally. AfS, ENWW

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/R50595X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1962253 Studentship BB/R50595X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Angita Shrestha
 
Description We are working with MSD to secure IP of my PhD work. Hence, at this point in time the results have to be kept confidential.
Exploitation Route In this award I am aiming to improve the development of vaccines for avian influenza virus in poultry. This will be very beneficial for the treatment of many poultry diseases in future.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description MSD Animal Health is commercially making vaccines for poultry diseases and they want to compare the performance of their commercial vaccine with the vaccine generated from this project.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Industrial collaboration 
Organisation MSD Animal Health
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Helping them to test some parameters of their commercial vaccines.
Collaborator Contribution The industrial partner has helped us in carrying out animal experiment. All the animal experiment costs have been incurred by the industrial partner
Impact I am currently doing my industrial placement at MSD Animal Health, Netherlands. We are doing animal experiments here. The results from this animal experiments will be analysed in the near future. I have also got an opportunity to get hands on experience on the regulatory affairs involved in the registration of the vaccines in an industrial setting.
Start Year 2017
 
Description BBSRC DTP Mentor-Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact • Responsible for giving advice to the new PhD students regarding the course, PhD life at Oxford, potential supervisors and accommodation.
• Responsible for organising social events for the new PhD students.

The most important outcome of becoming DTP mentor is the appreciation I get from my fellow peers. I really feel happy that my contribution has helped the new PhD students to settle well during the first few months of their PhD.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description BBSRC Grand Challenge-Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The BBSRC Grand challenge was hosted in partnership with companies like GSK, Alzheimer's Research UK, Evotec, UCB and Vertex. We had to work in a team to solve one of the challenges proposed by the industrial partner and pitch our ideas in front of the judges. Our team took upon the challenge to find a way of increasing the amount of antibodies getting through the blood brain barrier. Our concept of using viral vectors for endogenous antibody production was well appreciated by the judges and declared a winner.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Innovation, Impact and Enterprise workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Enterprise workshop held in Oxford where we were able to meet the CEOs of different Oxford spin off companies and got information about transition from academia to industry. In addition, we got to know about how to form spin off companies and the resources and help available at Oxford. Furthermore, talks were also focussed on making effecting business plans, marketing and patents. We also had to form a group and come up with a business idea and pitch the idea in front of the investors. We also had to do an elevator pitch to sell ourselves to the investors. It was a great experience to find out range of opportunities for scientists and also to know what the employers were looking for in a PhD students for hiring.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Poster presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I presented a poster in Microbiology Society conference held in Belfast (April 2019). It was really nice to present my work in front of wide range of audiences from different expertise. I got a very valuable feedback on my work. It has helped me to plan my further work on the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description STEM ambassador 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I volunteered for 'Innovate Guilford 2019'. I was involved in communicating science of the Pirbright institute to the general public. We involved the public in many activities like mini escape room, using legos to make virus particles and several fun educational games. We received great feedback from the public and students showed interests in getting a tour of the institute.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description School visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I did a presentation to the 16-18 years old A-level students on life of a PhD student. I also guided them on how to choose subjects for their university and how to perfect their personal statements.
The feedback was really good. I received lots of emails from the students after the talk asking me further questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019