2010 - 2013

Developing novel vaccines against AIV and exploring efficient delivery systems for these vaccines

Principal Investigator: Dele Ogunremi, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Status: Completed


  • To develop DNA-based avian influenza vaccine platform.
  • To assess the safety and efficacy of needle-free delivery methods for adenovirus-, virosome- and DNA-based vaccines


There are some commercially available avian influenza (AI) vaccines (none approved for use in Canada) that have been used to successfully protect poultry from the disease. However, current vaccines do not provide complete protection and are administered on an individual bird basis. More effective AI vaccines that can be quickly delivered to large flocks are necessary. Dr. Ogunremi’s team is looking the potential of DNA-based vaccine to protect poultry from AI. The researchers are also testing the ability of a needle-free system to inoculate poultry with various vaccine types.


Dr. Ogunremi’s team has developed a DNA vaccine construct containing the hemagglutinin (HA) gene from an H5N1 avian influenza virus (AIV). The gene sequence was optimized for expression in chicken cells and the vaccine is being tested for its ability to elicit antibodies and protect chickens from AIV infection. Antibody production was increased many-fold when electroporation was used to deliver the vaccine compared to intramuscular injection. The electroporation procedure will be tested on the virosome-based vaccine developed in activity FSQ037. Oral administration (e.g. in drinking water) of the DNA vaccine and adenovirus vectors developed in project FSQ038.1 and FQ038.2 will also be tested.


This research is part of an overall program to better understand the biology of avian influenza with the long-term goal of developing rational control strategies in domestic poultry. DNA vaccines and new, more efficient vaccine delivery methods may be part of future control strategies.


$145,534 ($18,000 CFIA (in-kind); CPRC $127,534)


Ogunremi O, Pasick J, Kobinger GP, Hannaman D, Berhane Y, Clavijo A, van Drunen Littel-van den Hurk S. 2013. A single electroporation delivery of a DNA vaccine containing the hemagglutinin gene of asian H5N1 avian influenza virus generated a protective antibody response in chickens against a North American virus strain. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 20(4):491-500.


*This research was part of the 2010-2013 Poultry Science Cluster which was supported by AAFC as part of Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

Back to results