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Development of novel RNA-based treatment against ISAV



The purpose of the project is to develop a novel RNA interference-based vaccine against ISAV. RNA interference (RNAi) has been successfully used to combat viral infections in many vertebrate and invertebrate species, and offers the distinct advantage of being used both as a prophylactic vaccine, and as a treatment to combat the virus at the first signs of infection. We will begin by identifying genetic sequences that are common to all strains of ISAV. Next we will design, clone and evaluate the efficacy of a number of RNAi-based gene inhibitors using model cell lines. Finally, we will develop inducible vectors to test the efficacy of the most promising inhibitors post-infection. This will give us insight into the possibility of using RNAi-based inhibitors as a treatment, in addition to a prophylactic vaccine. Given the large number of pharmaceutical companies working on systems for the oral delivery of RNAi-based gene inhibitors for human disease, it is likely our inhibitors could be delivered orally in fish in the near future. This would represent the first and only treatment against ISAV infection.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2009 - 2013


Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf

Principal Investigator(s)

Mark LaFlamme

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