This proof of concept project aimed at developing a new type of vaccine to be used in the poultry industry to immunize against Salmonella enterica. This bacterium is one of the most common food borne illnesses in the world, infects millions of people each year, and causes thousands of deaths. Between 1999-2006 it was estimated that 1 in 8 chickens in the US were contaminated with Salmonella, which resulted in annual infections of 1.4 million people with an associated health care cost of USD $3B.
This research was based on a new technology developed by the research team using genes from Arctic bacteria to render pathogenic bacteria temperature-sensitive (TS) in their growth. The team aimed to apply this platform technology to reduce the carriage of Salmonella among poultry, preventing their spread to humans. The vaccine was unable to provide sufficient protection via an oral delivery compared to the competitor’s vaccine. However, Zoetis (Pfizer Animal Unit) considered using the vaccine for other poultry applications or application in other animals.