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Researchers work on avian influenza vaccine

A University of Wisconsin research team is making some progress in developing a vaccine for avian influenza.

Dr. Adel Talaat tells Brownfield his research into a vaccine for low-path influenza began in 2017 and provided 100% protection for the birds, but that technology made it difficult to protect large flocks.  Now, Talaat is working with new technology that would offer domestic birds including chickens and turkeys protection from current and future strains of the virus. “Right now, we’re trying to implement this, test our new technology against both low-path avian influenza, and hopefully if we pass this kind of threshold, we can definitely test it against high-path avian influenza as well.”

Talaat says so far, the research looks very promising. “It is a technology that can be deployed under field conditions. You can use either spray immunization or oral immunization and you can definitely apply it for a large number of birds.”

And Talaat says he’s optimistic the cost to producers will remain reasonable. “We are trying to be within the norm of the regular cost of vaccines that you give to the chicken, so hopefully it’s not going to be more expensive than what you’re currently paying for commercial vaccines.”

Talaat says there is still testing to be done before a vaccine can be put on the market. He’s optimistic the vaccine can be released within the next two years.

Microbiologist Dr. Adel Talaat discusses his research into an avian influenza vaccine with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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