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Project Details

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Improving control of infectious laryngotracheitis in Australian broiler flocks
Summary This project aims to use cuttingedge molecular technology to improve control of ILTV in Australian broiler flocks. In particular this project will investigate Australian ILTV strains in order to develop a sensitive and rapid ILTV detection and classification system, and to understand the epidemiology of current disease outbreaks. Specific outcomes from this project will include:

1) Identification of the origin(s) of the ILTV strains involved in recent disease outbreaks, their relationships to other ILTV strains (including vaccine strains) and the molecular features that contribute to viral pathogenicity. This information will allow actions to be taken to prevent or minimise emergence and spread of ILTV field stains from these sources and will also provide valuable fundamental information about ILTV pathogenicity.

2) A new diagnostic tool for the rapid detection and classification of ILTV using realtime PCR and high resolution melt curve (qPCRHRM) analysis. This diagnostic system will provide producers with information regarding ILTV strain virulence and relatedness to other strains and will thus allow producers to make informed management decisions regarding ILT control. The rapidity of this system will allow ‘real time” tracking of disease during outbreaks and improve our understanding of ILT epidemiology so that timely and effective control measures can be implemented.

3) Identification of any ILTV field strains that can overcome the vaccineinduced immunity elicited by standard vaccination protocols, as well as the development of optimised vaccination protocols to enhance control of these strains. This addresses the hypothesis that there may be Australian field strains of ILTV that are capable of causing disease in vaccinated birds. The development of more effective vaccination strategies to control these strains will directly enhance control of ILTV and will allow vaccine resources to be used more efficiently.
Program Chicken Meat
Research organisation The University of Melbourne
Objective summary The overall objective of this project is to improve control of infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV) in Australian broiler flocks.

Specific R&D objectives include
1) To use highthroughput, nextgeneration DNA sequencing, as well as geneexpression analysis of the entire ILTV genome, to comprehensively characterise the virus strains causing outbreaks, and to investigate their genotypic relationships with other strains (including vaccine strains). The source of strains involved in recent ILTV outbreaks will be determined by these analyses.

2) To use the above results to establish a sensitive and rapid qPCRHRM diagnostic analysis system for the detection and differentiation of ILTV vaccine and field strains. This system would be based on variable genomic regions and genomic regions associated with viral virulence.

3) To determine in any Australian field isolates of ILTV are resistant to the vaccineinduced immunity elicited by standard vaccination protocols and to develop a more effective vaccination program to control disease caused by these isolates.
Project Stage Closed
Project start date Friday, May 22, 2009
Project completion date Monday, July 16, 2012
Journal articles from project Not Available
National priority Safeguarding Australia
Rural priority Adoption of R&D
RIRDC goal CME-Increase the productivity and efficiency of chicken meat production
Principal researcher Joanne Devlin
Research manager Michael Beer
Admin contact Trish Kendal