New biological products for animals (hereinafter referred to as new products) refer to the biological products that have been created or first produced in China for the prevention, treatment and diagnosis of animal diseases such as livestock and poultry. Since its establishment in 2004, Prof. LIU Wenjun’s Lab at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) has focused on basic scientific and industrial research. The core direction of the laboratory is virus infection research and biological product development, which mainly studies new vaccines, antiviral proteins and antibody drugs.
The rapid development of poultry farming has made China the world’s largest aquaculture country. Large scale breeding model also brings new challenges to the prevention and control of infectious diseases. In particular, the epidemic and outbreak of some viral infectious diseases, especially avian influenza, result in serious economic losses to the poultry industry.
Avian influenza is the kind of avian infection and/or disease syndrome caused by influenza A virus. It is characterized by subclinical infection and respiratory diseases, and associated with secondary infection of bacteria, thereby laying down or causing acute fatal diseases. Currently, vaccines are mainly used to prevent such diseases. However, immune failure occurs frequently due to the variation of influenza strains.
In view of the fact of disable antiviral drugs and antibiotics, interferon and other protein preparations have been considered as the research focus in the prevention and treatment of avian influenza and other viral diseases.
Interferon is the most important cellular regulatory factor in the body. It plays an important role in the early stage of viral infection by improving the immune function of the organism and inducing the body to produce a variety of antiviral proteins. Compared with traditional drugs, interferon has the advantages of no drug resistance, small side effects, quick effect and no residue. It therefore has wide application prospects and has attracted wide attention of scholars at home and abroad.
According to the development trend of green culture, Prof. LIU’s team have used interferon as a potential clinical product and as the main research content since 2007. A great deal of research work has been done on the basis of many kinds of animal interferon from basic to technological aspects (Journal of Virology, 2016; Protein & Cell, 2013; PLoS One, 2013; Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, 2011, 2010, 2007).
They made a joint declaration with Qingdao Vland Biological Products Co.,Ltd. and Qingdao National Animal Protection Engineering Technology Research Center Co. Ltd., etc., and have received the clinical approval (Document No.: 2017068; Approval time: September 30, 2017).
The clinical preparation was that the recombinant plasmid of chicken α-interferon gene was expressed by fermentation into Escherichia coli, and the recombinant protein was taken by drinking water, which had good clinical effect on the prevention and treatment of H9 subtype avian influenza infection. In the process of project application and research, FAN Wenhui, LI Jing, YANG Limin and SUN Lei, as well as related cooperative units have done a lot of work.
The research was supported by the the National Key Technology Support Program (2015BAD11B02), the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD051105-02) and the Enterprise Horizontal Cooperation Project.