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FMDV Vaccine Development

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is an acute, highly contagious disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals such as pigs, cattle, and sheep. The disease is caused by foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). FMDV is thought to be mainly transmitted between animals through aerosol droplets.

Overview of FMDV

FMDV has a marked immunosuppressive effect on the host, and typical clinical symptoms include high fever and numerous blisters on the oral mucosa, hoofs, and breasts. Foot-and-mouth disease infection can lead to abortion, weight loss and reduced milk production in livestock, hindering the development of animal husbandry and threatening international trade in animals and animal products. Therefore, it has been included in the zoonotic disease A list by the International Office for Animal Diseases (OIE).

Immune cell dysfunction caused by FMDV infection.Immune cell dysfunction caused by FMDV infection. (Li K, et al., 2021)

FMDV Genome

FMDV belongs to the genus Aphthovirus within the family Picornaviridae. The viral genome is a single-stranded positive-stranded RNA, about 8.3 kb in length, including a long 5'-untranslated region (5'UTR), a large open reading frame (ORF) and a short 3'UTR. The viral genome encodes four structural proteins, that make up the icosahedral capsid, and eight nonstructural proteins that regulate RNA replication, protein folding, and viral assembly. VP1 is highly variable, VP2 and VP3 are relatively conserved, VP1-3 cooperate to form the capsid surface. VP4 is highly conserved across all serotypes and forms the internal structure of viral particles.

Schematic representation of FMDV genome organization.Schematic representation of FMDV genome organization. (Peng J, et al., 2020)

Types of FMDV

There are seven serotypes of FMDV, namely A, O, C, SAT1, SAT2, SAT3 and Asia 1, and each serotype includes multiple subtypes. The prevention and control of foot-and-mouth disease is more difficult because there is no effective cross-protection between different serotypes.

FMDV Vaccine

To date, vaccination remains the best strategy to prevent and suppress the FMD epidemic, and the currently available FMD vaccines are inactivated vaccines. Although inactivated vaccines can reduce FMDV prevalence in endemic areas, they have several limitations as follows.
  • High cost of biocontainment
  • Extensive genetic variation manufacturing process
  • Low immunogenicity, resulting in short-term immunity
  • Lack of cross-protection against heterologous serotypes and subtypes

FMDV VLP Vaccine

FMDV is an RNA virus, and errors in replication can lead to the emergence of new strains, rendering existing vaccines ineffective. Furthermore, the production of currently licensed FMDV vaccines requires the use of high biocontainment manufacturing facilities as well as expensive downstream purification processes. The continuous updating of FMDV vaccines has resulted in increased production costs and technical challenges for many vaccine-producing platforms. And highly adaptable, rapidly reactive virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine production platforms, including bacteria, insects, yeast, and plants, can rapidly adapt to new virus strains and serotypes. VLPs are immunogenic, lack genetic material, and are safer.

How We Can Help

As an expert in building VLPs from VLPlantTM platform, CD BioSciences uses its expertise to help our clients develop FMDV vaccines. We are good at customizing our services according to the needs of our clients. Please contact us if you are interested.

Our capabilities include but are not limited to:

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  1. Li K.; et al., Virus-Host Interactions in Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Infection. Front Immunol. 2021, 12: 571509.
  2. Peng J.; et al., Advances in Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Proteins Regulating Host Innate Immunity. Front Microbiol. 2020, 11:2046.
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