What is DIVA vaccine?

DIVA stands for Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals. For Avian influenza, this can be achieved by using a vaccine based on a different strain (e.g. H5N2) than the current field strain (e.g. H5N1) and using a serological test that can differentiate between vaccine-induced antibodies (e.g. against N2) and antibodies against the field virus (N1).

Working of DIVA vaccine

DIVA means differentiating infected from vaccinated animals. These vaccines, also termed as marker vaccines, induce an immune response which is different from that induced by natural infection. Marker vaccines are based on deletions mutants of wild-type pathogens, subunit vaccines and inactivated whole virus vaccines. The DIVA immune response can be detected by companion diagnostic tests such as enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA).

DIVA vaccines already being used in the market

DIVA vaccines were first used for the eradication of pseudorabies (Aujeszky disease) in pigs. Most of them are based on recombinant deletion mutants lack the gE envelope glycoprotein and thymidine kinase genes. The accompanying tests score pigs as seropositive for gE antibodies. DIVA vaccines against infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) of cattle, caused by the bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) work on a similar principle.

Advantage of DIVA vaccines

The main advantage of DIVA vaccines and their companions test is the possibility to distinguish between infected and vaccinated animals. Therefore, special restrictions, which are necessary for infected animals, can be loosened for vaccinated animals.

Disadvantage of DIVA vaccine

Depending on the kind of DIVA vaccine it is possible that the vaccines are not so effective like conventional vaccines (e.g. inactivated vaccines or subunit vaccines). Special DIVA tests must be developed. Sometimes they are not so sensitive like conventional tests.

DIVA vaccines under development

For classical swine fever chimeric pesti-viruses were shown to be effective DIVA vaccines in animal experiments. They are based on bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) or CSF viruses. Immunogenic proteins were exchanged with their equivalents from the respective other pesti-viruses (CSFV, BVDV, BDV).

Application of DIVA vaccine

Lateral flow technology is an ideal platform for a DIVA diagnostic solution as it provides a low cost, rapid result, at the point of use, providing optimal efficiency and improving the control of disease. Special restrictions, which are necessary for infected animals, can be loosened for animals identified as being vaccinated using as diagnostic test.

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