Generation of ORFV recombinants, which express different foreign genes (antigens), could be demonstrated to protect against lethal challenge infection with Herpesvirus (Herpes Suid 1), Borna disease Virus, Pestivirus (CSFV), Influenza virus (HPAIV H5N1), Rabies virus or Calicivirus (RHDV) not only in animal models, but also in natural hosts. Notably, ORFV recombinant replication is not needed to mediate protective immunity.
Innovative strategies for selection and generation of new, also multivalent ORFV recombinants are under development. Moreover, important unravelled questions remain to be solved concerning the unique immunostimulating properties of ORFV to activate innate and long-lasting adaptive (balanced Th1 and Th2 type response) immunity.
More recent projects and fields of interest:
• Investigating the ORFV-induced stimulation of the human immune system.
• Modulating the induced immune response by co-expression of immune regulating factors.
• Anti-tumour potency of ORFV recombinants: Development of a therapeutic vaccine against papillomavirus-induced tumours.
• Comparative investigation of ORFV + different vaccine platforms for heterologous prime-boost vaccination.
• Continuous improvement of generation and selection of new ORFV recombinants.
• Generation of multivalent ORFV recombinants.
• Enhancement and fine-tuning of foreign gene expression in ORFV.
• Development of procedures appropriate for large scale vaccine production.