The Bluetongue Disabled Infectious Single Animal (DISA) Vaccine Platform Based on Deletion NS3/NS3a Protein Is Safe and Protective in Cattle and Enables DIVA

Rijn, P.A. van; Maris-Veldhuis, M.A.; Gennip, H.G.P. van


The bluetongue virus (BTV) is transmitted by Culicoides biting midges and causes bluetongue (BT), an OIE-notifiable disease of ruminants. At least 29 BTV serotypes are described as determined by the outer shell proteins VP2 and VP5. Vaccination is the most effective control measure. Inactivated and live-attenuated vaccines (LAVs) are currently available. These vaccines have their specific pros and cons, and both are not DIVA vaccines. The BT Disabled Infectious Single Animal (DISA) vaccine platform is based on LAV without nonessential NS3/NS3a expression and is applicable for many serotypes by the exchange of outer shell proteins. The DISA vaccine is effective and completely safe. Further, transmission of the DISA vaccine by midges is blocked (DISA principle). Finally, the DISA vaccine enables DIVA because of a lack of antibodies against the immunogenic NS3/NS3a protein (DIVA principle). The deletion of 72 amino acids (72aa) in NS3/NS3a is sufficient to block virus propagation in midges. Here, we show that a prototype DISA vaccine based on LAV with the 72aa deletion enables DIVA, is completely safe and induces a long-lasting serotype-specific protection in cattle. In conclusion, the in-frame deletion of 72-aa codons in the BT DISA/DIVA vaccine platform is sufficient to fulfil all the criteria for modern veterinary vaccines. View Full-Text