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Modern Vaccines with DIVA Capability: An Overview

Ajit Singh



DIVA vaccines are designed to achieve twin-goals of the immunological protection of the host and the immunological differentiation of the infected from the vaccinated animals (DIVA) with a companion immunodiagnostic test. The DIVA strategy is used in countries that follow the vaccination path for elimination of an infectious disease and ultimately to achieve the disease-free status for international trade. This strategy has also been advocated for and adopted in the disease-free countries in emergencies to contain outbreaks and to regain the disease-free status. Essential steps in development of a novel DIVA strategy are: (i) selection of the appropriate marker gene/antigen for the vaccine, (ii) the construction of the marker vaccine, and (iii) development and validation of the marker antigen-based immuno-differentiation test. The first DIVA vaccines (pseudorabies, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis and classical swine fever virus) were constructed during 1980s–1990s by deleting a non-essential gene of each virus that encoded for the ‘marker’ antigen. Detection of anti-marker antibodies in the infected animals was achieved by an immunological test. Other approaches in DIVA vaccinology have been developed since then, most of them employing rDNA techniques. Live attenuated or killed whole organisms, chimeric and live expression vectors and subunit constructs have been licensed as DIVA vaccines for various infectious diseases. In fact, all non-whole organism vaccines produced by rDNA techniques and synthetic chemistry procedures possess inherent DIVA capability. The biomarkers-based DIVA approaches are also conceived for future. An overview of DIVA vaccinology and diagnostics is presented.


Keywords: DIVA vaccinology, marker antigens, DIVA diagnostics, rDNA-based vaccines

Cite this Article:

A. Singh. Modern Vaccines with DIVA Capability: An Overview. Research and Reviews: Journal of Immunology (RRJoI). 2015; 5(1): 1–12p.

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