UNE-88 Test to differentiate Rispens CVI988 vaccine from wild type MDV

Australian Eggs Limited

  • Project code: PRJ-002819

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Thursday, January 24, 2008

  • Project completion date: Wednesday, September 1, 2010

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 1-Improving environmental sustainability outcomes


Development and validation of a fully quantitative differential assay that will distinguish between Rispens CVI988 vaccine and Australian wild-type MDV1 in pure and mixed infections in DNA samples extracted from spleen, feather tips, blood/PBL and poultry dust samples.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

Australian Eggs Limited

Objective Summary

The project has a rather straight-forward objective. This is to develop, validate and make available to industry a fully quantitative differential PCR assay that will distinguish between the main serotype 1 Marek’s disease virus (MDV) vaccine used in Australia (Rispens CVI988) and Australian wild-type MDV1.

The reason for this is that the Australian layer and meat breeder industries currently cannot distinguish easily between infection with pathogenic MDV1 and infection with vaccinal MDV1.

The general hypothesis under test is that there is sufficient systematic sequence variation between the Rispens CVI988 vaccine virus, and wild-type Australian MDVs to enable the development of a reliable test to differentiate them. We have significant data to hand currently in support of this hypothesis.

Our research plan is to improve and further validate our current Rispens-specific qPCR, develop a reverse assay which amplifies only wild-type MDV1 and not Rispens, test and validate these under industry conditions and ensure that the tests become available to industry. In the event that the present taqman qPCR tests cannot be sufficiently optimised, tests will be developed using a new technology, High Resolution Melt Curve Analysis.