Recombinant Newcastle disease virus as a vaccine vector
Veterinary vaccines remained conventional for more than fifty years. Recent advances in the recombinant genetic engineering techniques brought forward a leap in designing vaccines for veterinary use. A novel approach of delivering protective immunogens of many different pathogens in a single virus vector was made possible with the introduction of a „reverse genetics“ system for nonsegmented negative-sense RNA viruses. Newcastle disease virus (NDV), a nonsegmented negative-sense virus, is one of the major viruses of economic importance in the poultry industry throughout the world. Despite the availability of live virus vaccines of good potency, the intrinsic ability of attenuated strains to revert in virulence makes control of this disease by vaccination difficult. Armed with the knowledge of virulence factors of this virus, it is now possible to produce genetically stable vaccines and to engineer mutations that enhance immunogenicity. The modular nature of the genome of this virus facilitates engineering additional genes from several different pathogens or tumor-specific antigens to design contemporary vaccines for animals and humans. This review will summarize the developments in using NDV as a vaccine vector and the potential of this approach in designing next generation vaccines for veterinary use.