Development of a New Viral Vaccine Production Platform in Vietnam
Avian influenza (AI) and Newcastle disease (ND) are the most prevalent poultry diseases in many Asian countries, with significant economic impact on smallholder livestock farmers. The first AI outbreak in Vietnam (at the end of 2003) resulted in the deaths of 11 people and an estimated 44 million chickens (nearly 17% of the total poultry industry). ND is the second most prevalent poultry disease in Vietnam, causing significant economic losses for the poultry industry, especially in highland and rural areas. Although efforts at vaccination have been conducted with imported and domestic vaccines, the disease is still prevalent due to low vaccination coverage.
AI vaccines are abundant, but the highly mutable virus means that most vaccines quickly become ineffective. Additionally, most imported vaccines are not readily used in rural areas due to high cost. The Vietnam National Veterinary Joint Stock Company (NAVETCO) has successfully developed several vaccines for the local market, including vaccines for AI and ND, but they are produced using egg-based technology, which involves large quantities of sterile embryonated eggs and an expensive egg waste management system.
To meet the demand for more effective, affordable, and environmentally friendly technologies, this project will develop cell-based technology for AI and ND vaccine production. This is expected to make vaccine production easier and more cost-effective, resulting in more affordable vaccines for smallholder poultry farmers in Vietnam.
This project is funded by the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund, a partnership of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada, and IDRC. It represents a joint investment of CA$57 million over five years to support the development, production, and commercialization of innovative vaccines against priority livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.