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Sweet chicken: Sugar for targeted vaccination against respiratory infections in poultry

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Christine Jansen / Eveline de Geus

Background
Outbreaks of infectious disease in the poultry industry are mainly prevented by vaccination. Mucosal application is the most common route of vaccination for viral vaccines like infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). In spite of vaccination, IBV is still a cause of respiratory problems and poor egg production, hence novel vaccines are needed. Glycans expressed by pathogens are recognized by glycan-binding receptors expressed by host antigen-presenting cells (APC). Binding and subsequent uptake of pathogens by these glycan receptors leads to the induction of immune responses and therefore they can be used for targeting of vaccines to APC. We recently identified a subset of glycan-binding receptors on chicken APC.

Aim
The aim is to characterize and subsequently utilize glycan-binding receptors expressed by chicken APC in detail to efficiently target and activate these cells.

Approach
Firstly, glycan-binding receptor expression will be characterized in respiratory tract APC as these receptors could be candidates for targeting. Secondly glycan-coated nanoparticles will be generated and characterized. Then, glycan-coated nanoparticles will be used to specifically target these glycan receptors and the effect of these nanoparticles on APC phenotype will be characterized.


Figure 1: Schematic representation of approach

Implications
Infectious diseases have a major impact on the poultry industry and there is a need for the development of novel vaccines. Here, glycan-binding receptors expressed by chicken APC are studied to eventually utilize those for targeted mucosal vaccination of poultry using glycan-coated nanoparticles.

Techniques
- Cell culture
- Flow cytometry
- RT-PCR

Duration
6 or 9 months

More info:
Eveline de Geus, e.d.degeus@uu.nl, 030 2531872