SUMMARY. In this study we compared protection by DNA vaccination with the F (pCMV-F) or N (pCMV-N) gene from avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) in turkeys. One-week-old turkey poults received two intramuscular injections 2 wk apart. Birds were challenged with a turkey-embryo-adapted aMPV at 5 wk of age. Birds vaccinated with pCMV-F had decreased clinical signs of disease as well as significantly reduced virus load in tracheal swabs compared with birds vaccinated with pCMV-N or unvaccinated control birds. Serum neutralizing antibodies were significantly higher in birds receiving pCMV-F compared with all other groups. These results indicate that DNA vaccination with the F, but not N, gene of aMPV can induce significant protection against aMPV infection.
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Vol. 47 • No. 4