Supervisors: Jayne Hope, Tim Connelley, Pawan Dulal (aVaxziPen Ltd)
Vaccination is the single most effective intervention to prevent and eradicate infectious disease throughout the world in humans and animals. Two major hurdles in the large-scale deployment of vaccines are the need for stable vaccines and the ability to induce long-term protective immunity which usually requires booster vaccination. For many diseases there is an urgency for development of novel vaccines and delivery methods. This requires detailed understanding of the mechanisms that underpin protective immunity, and how different vaccine formulations or delivery methods affect the immune response.
In collaboration with our industry partner, aVaxziPen Ltd, we will assess the immune response in cattle to novel vaccine formulations. The solid dose vaccine(SDV) technology developed by aVaxziPen is an adaptable platform suitable to many vaccines constructs suitable for human and animal applications.
Early results at aVaxziPen with influenza vaccine in a small animal model indicate that, with the use of aVaxziPen's SDV formulations, protein-based vaccines have the potential to achieve significantly improved results compared to conventional approaches and may lead to cheaper vaccine alternatives. Employing aVaxziPen's needle-free, SDV formulations can offer a compelling avenue for enhancing vaccines and mitigating concerns associated with traditional liquid vaccination. We hypothesise that the depot effect caused by the slow and steady dissolution of the SDV allows recruitment and maturation of antigen-presenting cells at the site and draining lymph nodes that then induce strong immune responses. However, the mechanisms are not understood and will be assessed in this project using a candidate tuberculosis (TB) vaccine.
The project will focus on bovine tuberculosis (bTB), an important disease affecting cattle across the world. Mycobacterium. bovis, the causative agent of bTB, is a zoonotic pathogen which also causes TB in humans. Improved vaccines and delivery methods are urgently required for TB control in both species.
The student will work with our industry partner aVaxziPen Ltd and collaborators at the Future Industries Institute (University of South Australia) to generate a detailed understanding of the SDV and the mechanisms of immune response induction which will help in the commercial development of the technology.