P1.15EI Postgraduate project: Peter Moore: An evaluation of the efficacy of rabies vaccines to protect against Australian bat lyssavirus
This project will provide the rigorous experimental data required by medical and veterinary public health officials to formulate consistent and evidence based public health policy. Current ABLV policy is based on extrapolations from rabies virus studies, an absence of epidemiological data, and limited and conflicting experimental studies using ABLV. This project will evaluate the efficacy and appropriateness of the rabies vaccines currently used for ABLV-prophylaxis. Formal characterisation of the virulence of ABLV isolates will form a standardised basis for this and subsequent ABLV research. Development of ABLV-based serological assays will allow immune responses to ABLV to be detected and quantified specifically, rather than as cross-reactions in rabies-based assays. These assays will be used to obtain more accurate and relevant serological data for evaluation of experimental animals for naturally occurring ABLV-immunity (eg pre-experimental inoculation), and for investigating post-vaccination and post-inoculation immune responses. The project will also provide insight into the impact of attenuating mutations in the ABLV G and P genes and may provide the foundations for future development of a vaccine or vectored vaccine for control of bat-borne viral diseases.