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Implementing Regulations. Notice of opposition shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been
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*EP003172319B1*
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(12) EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION
(45) Date of publication and mention
of the grant of the patent:
20.11.2019 Bulletin 2019/47
(21) Application number: 15750093.5
(22) Date of filing: 23.07.2015
(51) Int Cl.:
C12N 7/04 (2006.01) C07K 14/165 (2006.01)
A61K 39/00 (2006.01) A61K 39/215 (2006.01)
(86) International application number:
PCT/GB2015/052124
(87) International publication number:
WO 2016/012793 (28.01.2016 Gazette 2016/04)
(54) CORONAVIRUS
CORONAVIRUS
CORONAVIRUS
(84) Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB
GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO
PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
(30) Priority: 23.07.2014 GB 201413020
(43) Date of publication of application:
31.05.2017 Bulletin 2017/22
(73) Proprietor: The Pirbright Institute
Pirbright
Woking
Surrey GU24 0NF (GB)
(72) Inventors:
• BICKERTON, Erica
Woking
Surrey GU24 0NF (GB)
• KEEP, Sarah
Woking
Surrey GU24 0NF (GB)
• BRITTON, Paul
Devon EX16 8NN (GB)
(74) Representative: D Young & Co LLP
120 Holborn
London EC1N 2DY (GB)
(56) References cited:
WO-A1-2011/004146 WO-A2-2004/092360
WO-A2-2005/049814
• V. D. MENACHERY ET AL: ”Attenuation and
Restoration of Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome Coronavirus Mutant Lacking
2’-O-Methyltransferase Activity”, JOURNAL OF
VIROLOGY, vol. 88, no. 8, 29 January 2014
(2014-01-29), pages 4251-4264, XP055215583,
ISSN: 0022-538X, DOI: 10.1128/JVI.03571-13
• Anonymous: ”EM_STD:KF377577”, , 30 October
2013 (2013-10-30), XP55216202, Retrieved from
the Internet:
URL:http://ibis/exam/dbfetch.jsp?id=EM_STD :K
F377577 [retrieved on 2015-09-25]
• PAUL BRITTON ET AL: ”Modification of the avian
coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus for
vaccine development”, BIOENGINEERED, vol. 3,
no. 2, 1 March 2012 (2012-03-01), pages 114-119,
XP055215793, ISSN: 2165-5979, DOI:
10.4161/bbug.18983
• MARIA ARMESTO ET AL: ”A Recombinant Avian
Infectious Bronchitis Virus Expressing a
Heterologous Spike Gene Belonging to the 4/91
Serotype”, PLOS ONE, vol. 6, no. 8, 30 August
2011 (2011-08-30) , page e24352, XP055215311,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024352
• MARIA ARMESTO ET AL: ”The Replicase Gene
of Avian Coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus
Is a Determinant of Pathogenicity”, PLOS ONE,
vol. 4, no. 10, 9 October 2009 (2009-10-09), page
e7384, XP055215449, DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0007384 cited in the
application
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• CAVANAGH ET AL: ”Manipulation of the
infectious bronchitis coronavirus genome for
vaccine development and analysis of the
accessory proteins”, VACCINE, ELSEVIER LTD,
GB, vol. 25, no. 30, 10 July 2007 (2007-07-10) ,
pages 5558-5562, XP022148593, ISSN:
0264-410X, DOI: 10.1016/J.VACCINE.2007.02.046
• R. CASAIS ET AL: ”Reverse Genetics System for
the Avian Coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis
Virus”, JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, vol. 75, no. 24,
15 December 2001 (2001-12-15), pages
12359-12369, XP055215746, ISSN: 0022-538X,
DOI: 10.1128/JVI.75.24.12359-12369.2001
• YAN-QUAN WEI ET AL: ”Development and
characterization of a recombinant infectious
bronchitis virus expressing the ectodomain
region of S1 gene of H120 strain”, APPLIED
MICROBIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY, vol.
98, no. 4, 1 February 2014 (2014-02-01), pages
1727-1735, XP055132063, ISSN: 0175-7598, DOI:
10.1007/s00253-013-5352-5
• WANG ET AL: ”Attenuation of porcine
reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus
strain MN184 using chimeric construction with
vaccine sequence”, VIROLOGY, ELSEVIER,
AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 371, no. 2, 31 October 2007
(2007-10-31), pages 418-429, XP022439793, ISSN:
0042-6822, DOI: 10.1016/J.VIROL.2007.09.032
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Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[0001] The present invention relates to an attenuated coronavirus comprising a variant replicase gene, which causes
the virus to have reduced pathogenicity. The present invention also relates to the use of such a coronavirus in a vaccine
to prevent and/or treat a disease.
BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION
[0002] Avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), the aetiological agent of infectious bronchitis (IB), is a highly infectious
and contagious pathogen of domestic fowl that replicates primarily in the respiratory tract but also in epithelial cells of
the gut, kidney and oviduct. IBV is a member of the Order Nidovirales, Family Coronaviridae, Subfamily Coronavirinae
and Genus Gammacoronavirus; genetically very similar coronaviruses cause disease in turkeys, guinea fowl and pheasants.
[0003] Clinical signs of IB include sneezing, tracheal rales, nasal discharge and wheezing. Meat-type birds have
reduced weight gain, whilst egg-laying birds lay fewer eggs and produce poor quality eggs. The respiratory infection
predisposes chickens to secondary bacterial infections which can be fatal in chicks. The virus can also cause permanent
damage to the oviduct, especially in chicks, leading to reduced egg production and quality; and kidney, sometimes
leading to kidney disease which can be fatal.
[0004] IBV has been reported to be responsible for more economic loss to the poultry industry than any other infectious
disease. Although live attenuated vaccines and inactivated vaccines are universally used in the control of IBV, the
protection gained by use of vaccination can be lost either due to vaccine breakdown or the introduction of a new IBV
serotype that is not related to the vaccine used, posing a risk to the poultry industry.
[0005] Further, there is a need in the industry to develop vaccines which are suitable for use in ovo, in order to improve
the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of vaccination programmes. A major challenge associated with in ovo vaccination
is that the virus must be capable of replicating in the presence of maternally-derived antibodies against the virus, without
being pathogenic to the embryo. Current IBV vaccines are derived following multiple passage in embryonated eggs, this
results in viruses with reduced pathogenicity for chickens, so that they can be used as live attenuated vaccines. However
such viruses almost always show an increased virulence to embryos and therefore cannot be used for in ovo vaccination
as they cause reduced hatchability. A 70% reduction in hatchability is seen in some cases.
[0006] Attenuation following multiple passage in embryonated eggs also suffers from other disadvantages. It is an
empirical method, as attenuation of the viruses is random and will differ every time the virus is passaged, so passage
of the same virus through a different series of eggs for attenuation purposes will lead to a different set of mutations
leading to attenuation. There are also efficacy problems associated with the process: some mutations will affect the
replication of the virus and some of the mutations may make the virus too attenuated. Mutations can also occur in the
S gene which may also affect immunogenicity so that the desired immune response is affected and the potential vaccine
may not protect against the required serotype. In addition there are problems associated with reversion to virulence and
stability of vaccines.
[0007] Menachery, V. D. et al. (2014) J. Virol., vol. 88, no. 8, 4251 – 4264, WO 2005/049814 A2 and WO 2004/092360
already disclosed a coronavirus comprising a mutation in nsp-15 and nsp-16 as well as means and methods of how to
arrive at a coronavirus comprising such mutated structural proteins.
[0008] It is important that new and safer vaccines are developed for the control of IBV. Thus there is a need for IBV
vaccines which are not associated with these issues, in particular vaccines which may be used for in ovo vaccination.
SUMMARY OF ASPECTS OF THE INVENTION
[0009] The present inventors have used a reverse genetics approach in order to rationally attenuate IBV. This approach
is much more controllable than random attenuation following multiple passages in embryonated eggs because the
position of each mutation is known and its effect on the virus, i.e. the reason for attenuation, can be derived.
[0010] Using their reverse genetics approach, the present inventors have identified various mutations which cause
the virus to have reduced levels of pathogenicity. The levels of pathogenicity may be reduced such that when the virus
is administered to an embryonated egg, it is capable of replicating without being pathogenic to the embryo. Such viruses
may be suitable for in ovo vaccination, which is a significant advantage and has improvement over attenuated IBV
vaccines produced following multiple passage in embryonated eggs.
[0011] Thus in a first aspect, the present invention provides a live, attenuated coronavirus comprising a variant replicase
gene encoding polyproteins comprising a mutation in nsp-14, wherein the variant replicase gene encodes a protein
comprising an amino acid mutation of Val to Leu at the position corresponding to position 393 of SEQ ID NO:7.
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[0012] The variant replicase gene may further encode a protein comprising one or more amino acid mutations selected
from the list of:
Pro to Leu at position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6,
Leu to lie at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8;
Val to lie at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0013] The replicase gene may further encode a protein comprising the amino acid mutation Pro to Leu at position 85
of SEQ ID NO: 6.
[0014] The replicase gene may encode a protein comprising the amino acid mutations Val to Leu at position 393 of
SEQ ID NO: 7;Leu to lie at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8; and Val to lie at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0015] The replicase gene may encode a protein comprising the amino acid mutations Pro to Leu at position 85 of
SEQ ID NO: 6; Val to Leu at position 393 of SEQ ID NO:7; Leu to lie at position 183 of SEQ ID NO:8; and Val to lie at
position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0016] The replicase gene may comprise one or more nucleotide substitutions selected from the list of:
C to T at nucleotide position 12137;
G to C at nucleotide position 18114;
T to A at nucleotide position 19047; and
G to A at nucleotide position 20139;
compared to the sequence shown as SEQ ID NO: 1.
[0017] The coronavirus may be an infectious bronchitis virus (IBV).
[0018] The coronavirus may be IBV M41.
[0019] The coronavirus may comprise an S protein at least part of which is from an IBV serotype other than M41.
[0020] For example, the S1 subunit or the entire S protein may be from an IBV serotype other than M41.
[0021] The coronavirus according to the first aspect has reduced pathogenicity compared to a coronavirus expressing
a corresponding wild-type replicase, such that when the virus is administered to an embryonated egg, it is capable of
replicating without being pathogenic to the embryo.
[0022] In a second aspect, a variant replicase gene as defined in the claims is provided.
[0023] In a third aspect, a protein encoded by a variant coronavirus replicase gene as defined in the claims is provided.
[0024] In a fourth aspect, a plasmid comprising a replicase gene as defined in the claims is provided.
[0025] In a fifth aspect, a method for making the coronavirus as defined in the claims is provided which comprises the
following steps:
(i) transfecting a plasmid according to the fourth aspect of the invention into a host cell;
(ii) infecting the host cell with a recombining virus comprising the genome of a coronavirus strain with a replicase gene;
(iii) allowing homologous recombination to occur between the replicase gene sequences in the plasmid and the
corresponding sequences in the recombining virus genome to produce a modified replicase gene; and
(iv) selecting for recombining virus comprising the modified replicase gene.
[0026] The recombining virus may be a vaccinia virus.
[0027] The method may also include the step:
(v) recovering recombinant coronavirus comprising the modified replicase gene from the DNA from the recombining
virus from step (iv).
[0028] A cell capable of producing a coronavirus according to the first aspect is provided.
[0029] In a another aspect, a vaccine comprising a coronavirus as defined in the claims and a pharmaceutically
acceptable carrier is provided.
[0030] Also described herein is a method for treating and/or preventing a disease in a subject which comprises the
step of administering a vaccine according to the invention to the subject.
[0031] Further aspects of the invention provide:
• the vaccine as defined in the claims for use in preventing a disease in a subject.
[0032] Also described herein is the use of a coronavirus according to the first aspect in the manufacture of a vaccine
for treating and/or preventing a disease in a subject.
[0033] The disease may be infectious bronchitis (IB).
[0034] The method of administration of the vaccine may be selected from the group consisting of; eye drop adminisEP
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tration, intranasal administration, drinking water administration, post-hatch injection and in ovo injection.
[0035] Vaccination may be by in ovo vaccination.
[0036] The present invention also provides a method for producing a vaccine as defined in the claims which comprises
the step of infecting a cell as defined in the claims with a coronavirus as defined in the claims.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
[0037]
Figure 1 – Growth kinetics of M41-R-6 and M41-R-12 compared to M41-CK (M41 EP4) on CK cells
Figure 2 – Clinical signs, snicking and wheezing, associated with M41-R-6 and M41-R-12 compared to M41-CK
(M41 EP4) and Beau-R (Bars show mock, Beau-R, M41-R 6, M41 – R 12, M41-CK EP4 from left to right of each
timepoint).
Figure 3 – Ciliary activity of the viruses in tracheal rings isolated from tracheas taken from infected chicks. 100%
ciliary activity indicates no effect by the virus; apathogenic, 0% activity indicates complete loss of ciliary activity,
complete ciliostasis, indicating the virus is pathogenic (Bars show mock, Beau-R, M41-R 6, M41-R 12, M41-CK
EP4 from left to right of each timepoint).
Figure 4 – Clinical signs, snicking, associated with M41R-nsp10rep and M41R-nsp14,15,16rep compared to M41-
R-12 and M41-CK (M41 EP5) (Bars show mock, M41-R12; M41 R-nsp10rep; M41 R-nsp14,15,16rep and M41-CK
EP5 from left to right of each timepoint).
Figure 5 – Ciliary activity of M41R-nsp10rep and M41R-nsp14,15,16rep compared to M41-R-12 and M41-CK in
tracheal rings isolated from tracheas taken from infected chicks (Bars show mock; M41-R12; M41R-nsp10rep;
M41R-nsp14,15,16rep and M41-CK EP5 from left to right of each timepoint).
Figure 6 – Clinical signs, snicking, associated with M41R-nsp10, 15rep, M41R-nsp10, 14, 15rep, M41R-nsp10, 14,
16rep, M41 R-nsp10, 15, 16rep and M41-K compared to M41-CK (Bars show mock, M41R-nsp10,15rep1; M41Rnsp10,14,16rep4;
M41R-nsp10,15,16rep8; M41R-nsp10,14,15rep10; M41-K6 and M41-CK EP4 from left to right of
each timepoint).
Figure 7 – Clinical signs, wheezing, associated with M41R-nsp10, 15rep, M41R-nsp10, 14, 15rep, M41R-nsp10,
14, 16rep, M41 R-nsp1 0, 15, 16rep and M41-K compared to M41-CK (Bars show mock, M41R-nsp10,15rep1;
M41R-nsp10,14,16rep4; M41R-nsp10,15,16rep8; M41R-nsp10,14,15rep10; M41-K6 and M41-CK EP4 from left to
right of each timepoint).
Figure 8 – Ciliary activity of M41R-nsp1 0, 15rep, M41 R-nsp1 0, 14, 15rep, M41R-nsp10, 14, 16rep, M41R-nsp10,
15, 16rep and M41-K compared to M41-CK in tracheal rings isolated from tracheas taken from infected chicks (Bars
show mock, M41R-nsp10,15rep1; M41R-nsp10,14,16rep4; M41R-nsp10,15,16rep8; M41R-nsp10,14,15rep10;
M41-K6 and M41-CK EP4 from left to right of each timepoint).
Figure 9 – Growth kinetics of rIBVs compared to M41-CK on CK cells. Fig 9A shows the results for M41-R and M41-
K. Fig 9B shows the results for M41-nsp10 rep; M41 R-nsp14, 15, 16 rep; M41 R-nsp1 0, 15 rep; M41 R-nsp10, 15,
16 rep; M41R-nsp10, 14, 15 rep; and M41R-nsp10, 14, 16.
Figure 10 – Position of amino acid mutations in mutated nsp10, nsp14, nsp15 and nsp16 sequences.
Figure 11 – A) Snicking; B) Respiratory symptoms (wheezing and rales combined) and C) Ciliary activity of rIBV
M41R-nsp10,14 rep and rIBV M41R-nsp10,16 rep compared to M41-CK (Bars show mock, M41R-nsp10,14rep;
M41R-nsp10,16rep and M41-K from left to right of each timepoint).
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0038] The present invention provides a coronavirus comprising a variant replicase gene which, when expressed in
the coronavirus, causes the virus to have reduced pathogenicity compared to a corresponding coronavirus which comprises
the wild-type replicase gene.
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CORONAVIRUS
[0039] Gammacoronavirus is a genus of animal virus belonging to the family Coronaviridae. Coronaviruses are enveloped
viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and a helical symmetry.
[0040] The genomic size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 27 to 32 kilobases, which is the longest size for
any known RNA virus.
[0041] Coronaviruses primarily infect the upper respiratory or gastrointestinal tract of mammals and birds. Five to six
different currently known strains of coronaviruses infect humans. The most publicized human coronavirus, SARS-CoV
which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), has a unique pathogenesis because it causes both upper
and lower respiratory tract infections and can also cause gastroenteritis. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
(MERS-CoV) also causes a lower respiratory tract infection in humans. Coronaviruses are believed to cause a significant
percentage of all common colds in human adults.
[0042] Coronaviruses also cause a range of diseases in livestock animals and domesticated pets, some of which can
be serious and are a threat to the farming industry. Economically significant coronaviruses of livestock animals include
infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) which mainly causes respiratory disease in chickens and seriously affects the poultry
industry worldwide; porcine coronavirus (transmissible gastroenteritis, TGE) and bovine coronavirus, which both result
in diarrhoea in young animals. Feline coronavirus has two forms, feline enteric coronavirus is a pathogen of minor clinical
significance, but spontaneous mutation of this virus can result in feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a disease associated
with high mortality.
[0043] There are also two types of canine coronavirus (CCoV), one that causes mild gastrointestinal disease and one
that has been found to cause respiratory disease. Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) is a coronavirus that causes an epidemic
murine illness with high mortality, especially among colonies of laboratory mice.
[0044] Coronaviruses are divided into four groups, as shown below:
Alpha
• Canine coronavirus (CCoV)
• Feline coronavirus (FeCoV)
• Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E)
• Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV)
• Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV)
• Human Coronavirus NL63 (NL or New Haven)
Beta
• Bovine coronavirus (BCoV)
• Canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV) – Common in SE Asia and Micronesia
• Human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43)
• Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV)
• Porcine haemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (HEV)
• Rat coronavirus (RCV). Rat Coronavirus is quite prevalent in Eastern Australia where, as of March/April 2008,
it has been found among native and feral rodent colonies.
• (No common name as of yet) (HCoV-HKU1)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
• Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
Gamma
• Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV)
• Turkey coronavirus (Bluecomb disease virus)
• Pheasant coronavirus
• Guinea fowl coronavirus
Delta
• Bulbul coronavirus (BuCoV)
• Thrush coronavirus (ThCoV)
• Munia coronavirus (MuCoV)
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• Porcine coronavirus (PorCov) HKU15
[0045] The variant replicase gene of the coronavirus of the present invention may be derived from an alphacoronavirus
such as TGEV; a betacoronavirus such as MHV; or a gammacoronavirus such as IBV.
[0046] As used herein the term ”derived from” means that the replicase gene comprises substantially the same nucleotide
sequence as the wild-type replicase gene of the relevant coronavirus. For example, the variant replicase gene
of the present invention may have up to 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, 98% or 99% identity with the wild type replicase sequence.
The variant coronavirus replicase gene encodes a protein comprising a mutation in one or more of non-structural protein
(nsp)-10, nsp-14, nsp-15 or nsp-16 when compared to the wild-type sequence of the non-structural protein.
IBV
[0047] Avian infectious bronchitis (IB) is an acute and highly contagious respiratory disease of chickens which causes
significant economic losses. The disease is characterized by respiratory signs including gasping, coughing, sneezing,
tracheal rales, and nasal discharge. In young chickens, severe respiratory distress may occur. In layers, respiratory
distress, nephritis, decrease in egg production, and loss of internal egg quality and egg shell quality are common.
[0048] In broilers, coughing and rattling are common clinical signs, rapidly spreading in all the birds of the premises.
Morbidity is 100% in non-vaccinated flocks. Mortality varies depending on age, virus strain, and secondary infections
but may be up to 60% in non-vaccinated flocks.
[0049] The first IBV serotype to be identified was Massachusetts, but in the United States several serotypes, including
Arkansas and Delaware, are currently circulating, in addition to the originally identified Massachusetts type.
[0050] The IBV strain Beaudette was derived following at least 150 passages in chick embryos. IBV Beaudette is no
longer pathogenic for hatched chickens but rapidly kills embryos.
[0051] H120 is a commercial live attenuated IBV Massachusetts serotype vaccine strain, attenuated by approximately
120 passages in embryonated chicken eggs. H52 is another Massachusetts vaccine, and represents an earlier and
slightly more pathogenic passage virus (passage 52) during the development of H120. Vaccines based on H120 are
commonly used.
[0052] IB QX is a virulent field isolate of IBV. It is sometimes known as ”Chinese QX” as it was originally isolated
following outbreaks of disease in the Qingdao region in China in the mid 1990s. Since that time the virus has crept
towards Europe. From 2004, severe egg production issues have been identified with a very similar virus in parts of
Western Europe, predominantly in the Netherlands, but also reported from Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark and
in the UK.
[0053] The virus isolated from the Dutch cases was identified by the Dutch Research Institute at Deventer as a new
strain that they called D388. The Chinese connection came from further tests which showed that the virus was 99%
similar to the Chinese QX viruses. A live attenuated QX-like IBV vaccine strain has now been developed.
[0054] IBV is an enveloped virus that replicates in the cell cytoplasm and contains an non-segmented, single-stranded,
positive sense RNA genome. IBV has a 27.6 kb RNA genome and like all coronaviruses contains the four structural
proteins; spike glycoprotein (S), small membrane protein (E), integral membrane protein (M) and nucleocapsid protein
(N) which interacts with the genomic RNA.
[0055] The genome is organised in the following manner: 5’UTR – polymerase (replicase) gene – structural protein
genes (S-E-M-N) – UTR 3’; where the UTR are untranslated regions (each ∼ 500 nucleotides in IBV).
[0056] The lipid envelope contains three membrane proteins: S, M and E. The IBV S protein is a type I glycoprotein
which oligomerizes in the endoplasmic reticulum and is assembled into homotrimer inserted in the virion membrane via
the transmembrane domain and is associated through non-covalent interactions with the M protein. Following incorporation
into coronavirus particles, the S protein is responsible for binding to the target cell receptor and fusion of the viral
and cellular membranes. The S glycoprotein consists of four domains: a signal sequence that is cleaved during synthesis;
the ectodomain, which is present on the outside of the virion particle; the transmembrane region responsible for anchoring
the S protein into the lipid bilayer of the virion particle; and the cytoplasmic tail.
[0057] All coronaviruses also encode a set of accessory protein genes of unknown function that are not required for
replication in vitro, but may play a role in pathogenesis. IBV encodes two accessory genes, genes 3 and 5, which both
express two accessory proteins 3a, 3b and 5a, 5b, respectively.
[0058] The variant replicase gene of the coronavirus of the present invention may be derived from an IBV. For example
the IBV may be IBV Beaudette, H120, H52, IB QX, D388 or M41.
[0059] The IBV may be IBV M41. M41 is a prototypic Massachusetts serotype that was isolated in the USA in 1941.
It is an isolate used in many labs throughout the world as a pathogenic lab stain and can be obtained from ATCC (VR-
21™). Attenuated variants are also used by several vaccine producers as IBV vaccines against Massachusetts serotypes
causing problems in the field. The present inventors chose to use this strain as they had worked for many years on this
virus, and because the sequence of the complete virus genome is available. The M41 isolate, M41-CK, used by the
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present inventors was adapted to grow in primary chick kidney (CK) cells and was therefore deemed amenable for
recovery as an infectious virus from a cDNA of the complete genome. It is representative of a pathogenic IBV and
therefore can be analysed for mutations that cause either loss or reduction in pathogenicity.
[0060] The genome sequence of IBV M41-CK is provided as SEQ ID NO: 1.
SEQ ID NO: 1 IBV M41-CK Sequence
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REPLICASE
[0061] In addition to the structural and accessory genes, two-thirds of a coronavirus genome comprises the replicase
gene (at the 5’ end of the genome), which is expressed as two polyproteins, pp1a and pp1ab, in which pp1ab is an
extension product of pp1a as a result of a -1 ribosomal shift mechanism. The two polyproteins are cleaved by two types
of virus-encoded proteinases usually resulting in 16 non-structural proteins (Nsp1-16); IBV lacks Nsp1 thereby encoding
Nsp2-16.
[0062] Thus Gene 1 in IBV encodes 15 (16 in other coronaviruses) non-structural proteins (nsp2-16), which are
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associated with RNA replication and transcription.
[0063] The term ’replicase protein’ is used herein to refer to the pp1 a and pp1ab polyproteins or individual nsp subunits.
[0064] The term ’replicase gene’ is used herein to refer to a nucleic acid sequence which encodes for replicase proteins.
[0065] A summary of the functions of coronavirus nsp proteins is provided in Table 1.
[0066] The variant replicase gene encoded by the coronavirus of the present invention comprises a mutation in the
section of sequence encoding nsp-14 as defined in the claims.
[0067] Nsp10 has RNA-binding activity and appears to be involved in homo and/or heterotypic interactions within other
nsps from the pp1a/pp1ab region. It adopts an α/β fold comprised of five α-helices, one 310-helix and three β-strands.
Two zinc-binding sites have been identified that are formed by conserved cysteine residues and one histidine residue
(Cys-74/Cys-77/His-83/Cys-90; Cys-117/Cys-120/Cys-128/Cys-130). The protein has been confirmed to bind singlestranded
and double-stranded RNA and DNA without obvious specificity. Nsp-10 can be cross-linked with nsp-9, suggesting
the existing of a complex network of protein-protein interactions involving nsp-7, -8, -9 and -10. In addition, nsp-
10 is known to interact with nsp-14 and nsp-16.
[0068] Nsp-14 comprises a 3’-to-5’ exoribonuclease (ExoN) active domain in the amino-terminal region. SARS-CoV
ExoN has been demonstrated to have metal ion-dependent 3’-to-5’ exoribonuclease activity that acts on both singlestranded
and double-stranded RNA, but not on DNA. Nsp-14 has been shown to have proof-reading activity. This nsp
has also been shown to have N7-methyltransferase (MT) activity in the carboxyl-terminal region. Nsp-15 associated
NendoU (nidoviral endoribonuclease, specific for U) RNase activity has been reported for a number of coronaviruses,
including SARS-CoV, MHV and IBV. The activities were consistently reported to be significantly enhanced by Mn2+ ions
and there was little activity in the presence of Mg2+ and Ca2+. NendoU cleaves at the 3’ side of uridylate residues in
both single-stranded and double-stranded RNA. The biologically relevant substrate(s) of coronavirus NendoUs remains
to be identified.
[0069] Nsp-16 has been predicted to mediate ribose-2’-O-methyltransferase (2’-O-MTase) activity and reverse-genetics
experiments have shown that the 2’-O-MTase domain is essential for viral RNA synthesis in HCoV-229E and
SARS-CoV. The enzyme may be involved in the production of the cap 1 structures of coronavirus RNAs and it may also
cooperate with NendoU and ExoN in other RNA processing pathways. 2’-O-MTase might also methylate specific RNAs
to protect them from NendoU-mediated cleavage.
Table 1
Nsp Protein Key features
1 Conserved within but not between coronavirus genetic groups; potential regulatory functions in the
host cell.
2 Dispensable for MHV and SARS-CoV replication in tissue culture
3 Acidic domain; macro domain with ADRP and poly(ADP-ribose)-binding activities; one or two ZBDcontaining
papain-like proteases; Y domain
4 Transmembrane domain
5 3C-like main protease, homodimer
6 Transmembrane domain
7 Interacts with nsp8 to form a hexadecamer complex
8 Noncannonical RNA polymerase; interacts with nsp7 to form a hexadecameric complex
9 ssRNA-binding protein, dimer
10 RNA-binding protein, homododecamer, zinc-binding domain, known to interact with nsp14 and
nsp16
11 Unknown
12 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase
13 Zinc-binding domain, NTPase, dNTPase, 5’-to-3’ RNA and DNA helicase, RNA 5’-triphosphate
14 3’-to 5’ exoribonuclease, zinc-binding domain and N7-methyltransferase
15 Uridylate-specific endoribonuclease, homohexamer
16 Putative ribose-2’-O-methyltransferase
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[0070] The genomic and protein sequences for nsp-10, -14, -15 and -16 are provided as SEQ ID NO: 2-5 and 6-9,
respectively.
SEQ ID NO: 2 (nsp-10 nucleotide sequence – nucleotides 11884-12318 of SEQ ID NO:1)
SEQ ID NO: 3 (nsp-14 nucleotide sequence – nucleotides 16938-18500 of SEQ ID NO:1)
SEQ ID NO: 4 (nsp-15 nucleotide sequence – nucleotides 18501-19514 of SEQ ID NO:1)
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SEQ ID NO: 5 (nsp-16 nucleotide sequence – nucleotides 19515-20423 of SEQ ID NO:1)
SEQ ID NO: 6 (nsp-10 amino acid sequence)
SEQ ID NO: 7 (nsp-14 amino acid sequence)
SEQ ID NO: 8 (nsp-15 amino acid sequence)
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SEQ ID NO: 9 (nsp-16 amino acid sequence)
REDUCED PATHOGENICITY
[0071] The live, attenuated coronavirus of the present invention comprises a variant replicase gene as defined in the
claims which causes the virus to have reduced pathogenicity compared to a coronavirus expressing the corresponding
wild-type gene.
[0072] The term ”attenuated” as used herein, refers to a virus that exhibits said reduced pathogenicity and may be
classified as non-virulent. A live, attenuated virus is a weakened replicating virus still capable of stimulating an immune
response and producing immunity but not causing the actual illness.
[0073] The term ”pathogenicity” is used herein according to its normal meaning to refer to the potential of the virus to
cause disease in a subject. Typically the pathogenicity of a coronavirus is determined by assaying disease associated
symptoms, for example sneezing, snicking and reduction in tracheal ciliary activity.
[0074] The term ”reduced pathogenicity” is used to describe that the level of pathogenicity of a coronavirus is decreased,
lessened or diminished compared to a corresponding, wild-type coronavirus.
[0075] In one embodiment, the coronavirus of the present invention as defined in the claims has a reduced pathogenicity
compared to the parental M41-CK virus from which it was derived or a control coronavirus. The control coronavirus may
be a coronavirus with a known pathogenicity, for example a coronavirus expressing the wild-type replicase protein.
[0076] The pathogenicity of a coronavirus may be assessed utilising methods well-known in the art. Typically, pathogenicity
is assessed by assaying clinical symptoms in a subject challenged with the virus, for example a chicken.
[0077] As an illustration, the chicken may be challenged at 8-24 days old by nasal or ocular inoculation. Clinical
symptoms, associated with IBV infection, may be assessed 3-10 days post-infection. Clinical symptoms commonly
assessed to determine the pathogenicity of a coronavirus, for example an IBV, include gasping, coughing, sneezing,
snicking, depression, ruffled feathers and loss of tracheal ciliary activity.
[0078] The variant replicase of the present invention, when expressed in a coronavirus, may cause a reduced level
of clinical symptoms compared to a coronavirus expressing a wild-type replicase.
[0079] For example a coronavirus expressing the variant replicase may cause a number of snicks per bird per minute
which is less than 90%, less than 80%, less than 70%, less than 60%, less than 50%, less than 40%, less than 30%,
less than 20% or less than 10% of the number of snicks caused by a virus expressing the wild type replicase.
[0080] A coronavirus expressing a variant replicase according to the present invention may cause wheezing in less
than 70%, less than 60%, less than 50%, less than 40%, less than 30%, less than 20% or less than 10% of the number
of birds in a flock infected with the a virus expressing the wild type replicase.
[0081] A coronavirus expressing a variant replicase according to the present invention may result in tracheal ciliary
activity which is at least 60%, at least 70%, at least 80%, at least 90% or at least 95% of the level of tracheal ciliary
activity in uninfected birds.
[0082] A coronavirus expressing a variant replicase according to the present invention may cause clinical symptoms,
as defined in Table 2, at a lower level than a coronavirus expressing the wild type replicase.
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[0083] The variant replicase of the present invention, when expressed in a coronavirus, may cause the virus to replicate
at non-pathogenic levels in ovo.
[0084] While developing vaccines to be administered in ovo to chicken embryos, attention must be paid to two points:
the effect of maternal antibodies on the vaccines and the effect of the vaccines on the embryo. Maternal antibodies are
known to interfere with active immunization. For example, vaccines with mild strains do not induce protective antibody
levels when administered to broiler chickens with maternal antibodies as these strains are neutralized by the maternal
antibody pool.
[0085] Thus a viral particle must be sufficiently efficient at replicating and propagating to ensure that it is not neutralized
by the maternally-derived antibodies against the virus. Maternally-derived antibodies are a finite pool of effective antibodies,
which decrease as the chicken ages, and neutralization of the virus in this manner does not equate to the
establishment of long-term immunity for the embryo/chick. In order to develop long-term immunity against the virus, the
embryo and hatched chicken must develop an appropriate protective immune response which is distinct to the effect of
the maternally-derived antibodies.
[0086] To be useful for in ovo vaccination, the virus must also not replicate and propagate at a level which causes it
to be pathogenic to the embryo.
[0087] Reduced pathogenicity in terms of the embryo may mean that the coronavirus causes less reduction in hatchability
compared to a corresponding, wild-type control coronavirus. Thus the term ”without being pathogenic to the
embryo” in the context of the present invention may mean ”without causing reduced hatchability” when compared to a
control coronavirus.
[0088] A suitable variant replicase may be identified using methods which are known in the art. For example comparative
challenge experiments following in ovo vaccination of embryos with or without maternally-derived antibodies may be
performed (i.e. wherein the layer has or has not been vaccinated against IBV).
[0089] If the variant replicase enables the virus to propagate at a level which is too high, the embryo will not hatch or
will not be viable following hatching (i.e. the virus is pathogenic to the embryo). A virus which is pathogenic to the embryo
may kill the embryo.
Table 2 IBV severity limits based on clinical signs:
Snicking (sneezing)
IBV specific: Mild (N.B. Respiratory signs
become apparent from 2-3 dpi if they are
going to occur and can continue for up to 7d).
Nasal exudate
Watery eyes
Swollen infraorbital sinuses
Rales (vibration in trachea
or bronchi region)
Hunched posture /
depressed
Mild, Fluffed up feathers if exceed 2d increase to moderate
Eating and drinking less
Drinking in excess: evident
by fluid filled crop or
measured water intake
IBV specific: Mild, if exceed 24h increase to
moderate for a max of 2d. If still drinking in
excess then kill by schedule 1 method.
Less active but still evade
capture
Weight loss Mild, if exceed 1d increase to moderate.
Not eating or drinking
Birds sit alone and does not
evade capture
Moderate: birds at end point. Kill by schedule
1 method.
Severe respiratory distress:
e.g. excessive gasping
Snicking and / or rales for 7d
in total
Found dead
Severe: report to project license holder.
Full post-mortem to be performed.
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[0090] If the variant replicase causes a reduction in viral replication and propagation which is too great, the virus will
be neutralised by the maternally-derived antibodies. Subsequent challenge of the chick with IBV will therefore result in
the development of clinical symptoms (for example wheezing, snicking, loss of ciliary activity) and the onset of disease
in the challenged chick; as it will have failed to develop effective immunity against the virus.
VARIANT
[0091] As used herein, the term ’variant’ is synonymous with ’mutant’ and refers to a nucleic acid or amino acid
sequence which differs in comparison to the corresponding wild-type sequence.
[0092] A variant/mutant sequence may arise naturally, or may be created artificially (for example by site-directed
mutagenesis). The mutant may have at least 70, 80, 90, 95, 98 or 99% sequence identity with the corresponding portion
of the wild type sequence. The mutant may have less than 20, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 mutation(s) over the corresponding
portion of the wild-type sequence.
[0093] The term ”wild type” is used to mean a gene or protein having a nucleotide or amino acid sequence which is
identical with the native gene or protein respectively (i.e. the viral gene or protein).
[0094] Identity comparisons can be conducted by eye, or more usually, with the aid of readily available sequence
comparison programs. These commercially available computer programs can calculate % identity between two or more
sequences. A suitable computer program for carrying out such an alignment is the GCG Wisconsin Bestfit package
(University of Wisconsin, U.S.A.; Devereux et al., 1984, Nucleic Acids Research 12:387). Examples of other software
that can perform sequence comparisons include, but are not limited to, the BLAST package (see Ausubel et al., 1999
ibid – Chapter 18), FASTA (Atschul et al., 1990, J. Mol. Biol., 403-410) and the GENEWORKS suite of comparison tools,
ClustalX (see Larkin et al. (2007) Clustal W and Clustal X version 2.0. Bioinformatics, 23:2947-2948). Both BLAST and
FASTA are available for offline and online searching (see Ausubel et al., 1999 ibid, pages 7-58 to 7-60). However, for
some applications, it is preferred to use the GCG Bestfit program. A new tool, called BLAST 2 Sequences is also available
for comparing protein and nucleotide sequence (see FEMS Microbiol Lett 1999 174(2): 247-50; FEMS Microbiol Lett
1999 177(1): 187-8 and tatiana@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).
[0095] The sequence may have one or more deletions, insertions or substitutions of amino acid residues which produce
a silent change and result in a functionally equivalent molecule. Deliberate amino acid substitutions may be made on
the basis of similarity in polarity, charge, solubility, hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity, and/or the amphipathic nature of the
residues as long as the activity is retained. For example, negatively charged amino acids include aspartic acid and
glutamic acid; positively charged amino acids include lysine and arginine; and amino acids with uncharged polar head
groups having similar hydrophilicity values include leucine, isoleucine, valine, glycine, alanine, asparagine, glutamine,
serine, threonine, phenylalanine, and tyrosine.
[0096] Conservative substitutions may be made, for example according to the Table below. Amino acids in the same
block in the second column and preferably in the same line in the third column may be substituted for each other:
[0097] The coronavirus of the present invention comprises a variant replicase gene as defined in the claims which
encodes a protein which comprises a mutation compared to SEQ ID NO: 7 which, when expressed in a coronavirus,
causes the virus to have reduced pathogenicity compared to a coronavirus expressing the corresponding wild-type
replicase.
[0098] The variant replicase gene encodes a protein which comprises an amino acid mutation in nsp-14.
[0099] The variant replicase gene of the coronavirus as defined in the claims of the present invention may encode a
protein comprising a mutation as defined in the M41 mod sequences presented in Figure 10.
[0100] The variant replicase gene of the coronavirus of the present invention may encode a protein which comprises
the amino acid mutations:
ALIPHATIC Non-polar G A P
I L V
Polar – uncharged C S T M
N Q
Polar – charged D E
K R
AROMATIC H F W Y
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Pro to Leu at position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6,
Val to Leu at position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7;
Leu to lie at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8; and
Val to lie at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0101] The variant replicase gene of the coronavirus of the present invention may encode a protein which does not
comprise a mutation in nsp-2, nsp-3, nsp-6 or nsp-13.
[0102] The variant replicase gene of the coronavirus of the present invention may encode a protein which does not
comprise a mutation in nsp10 which corresponds to the threonine to isoleucine mutation caused by a mutation at
nucleotide position 12,008 in the gene reported by Ammayappan et al. (Arch Virol (2009) 154:495-499).
[0103] Ammayappan et al (as above) reports the identification of sequence changes responsible for the attenuation
of IBV strain Arkansas DPI. The study identified 17 amino acid changes in a variety of IBV proteins following multiple
passages, approx. 100, of the virus in embryonated eggs. It was not investigated whether the attenuated virus (Ark DPI
101) is capable of replicating in the presence of maternally-derived antibodies against the virus in ovo, without being
pathogenic to the embryo. Given that this virus was produced by multiple passage in SPF embryonated eggs, similar
methodology for classical IBV vaccines, it is likely that this virus is pathogenic for embryos. The virus may also be
sensitive to maternally-derived antibodies if the hens were vaccinated with a similar serotype.
[0104] The variant replicase gene of the coronavirus of the present invention may encode a protein which comprises
any combination of one or more amino acid mutations provided in the list above.
[0105] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutation Pro to Leu at
position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6.
[0106] The variant replicase gene encodes a protein which comprises the amino acid mutation Val to Leu at position
393 of SEQ ID NO: 7.
[0107] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutation Leu to Ile at position
183 of SEQ ID NO: 8.
[0108] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutation Val to Ile at position
209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0109] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Pro to Leu at
position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6, and Val to Leu at position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7.
[0110] The variant replicase gene may further encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Pro to Leu
at position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6 Leu to Ile at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8.
[0111] The variant replicase gene may further encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Pro to Leu
at position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6 and Val to Ile at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0112] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Val to Leu at
position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7 and Leu to Ile at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8.
[0113] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Val to Leu at
position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7 and Val to Ile at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0114] The variant replicase gene may further encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Leu to Ile
at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8 and Val to Ile at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0115] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Pro to Leu at
position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6, Val to Leu at position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7 and Leu to Ile at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8.
[0116] The variant replicase gene may further encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Pro to Leu
at position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6 Leu to Ile at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8 and Val to Ile at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0117] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Pro to Leu at
position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6, Val to Leu at position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7 and Val to Ile at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0118] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Val to Leu at
position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7, Leu to Ile at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8 and Val to Ile at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0119] The variant replicase gene may encode a protein which comprises the amino acid mutations Pro to Leu at
position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6, Val to Leu at position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7, Leu to Ile at position 183 of SEQ ID NO: 8
and Val to Ile at position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
[0120] The variant replicase gene may also be defined at the nucleotide level.
[0121] For example the nucleotide sequence of the variant replicase gene of the coronavirus of the present invention
may comprise one or more nucleotide substitutions within the regions selected from the list of: 11884-12318,
16938-18500, 18501-19514 and 19515-20423 of SEQ ID NO:1.
[0122] For example the nucleotide sequence of the variant replicase gene of the coronavirus of the present invention
may comprise one or more nucleotide substitutions selected from the list of:
C to T at nucleotide position 12137;
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G to C at nucleotide position 18114;
T to A at nucleotide position 19047; and
G to A at nucleotide position 20139;
compared to the sequence shown as SEQ ID NO: 1.
[0123] As used herein, the term ”substitution” is synonymous with the term mutation and means that the nucleotide
at the identified position differs to that of the wild-type nucleotide sequence.
[0124] The nucleotide sequence may comprise any combination of the nucleotide substitutions selected from the list of:
C to T at nucleotide position 12137;
G to C at nucleotide position 18114;
T to A at nucleotide position 19047; and
G to A at nucleotide position 20139;
compared to the sequence shown as SEQ ID NO: 1.
[0125] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitution C12137T.
[0126] The nucleotide sequence may comprise substitution G18114C.
[0127] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitution T19047A.
[0128] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitution G20139A.
[0129] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions C12137T and G18114C.
[0130] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions C12137T and T19047A.
[0131] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions C12137T and G20139A.
[0132] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions G18114C and T19047A.
[0133] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions G18114C and G20139A.
[0134] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions T19047A and G20139A.
[0135] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions C12137T, G18114C and T19047A.
[0136] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions C12137T, T19047A and G20139A.
[0137] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions C12137T, G18114C and G20139A.
[0138] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions G18114C, T19047A and G20139A.
[0139] The nucleotide sequence may comprise the substitutions C12137T, G18114C, T19047A and G20139A.
[0140] The nucleotide sequence may not comprise a substitution which corresponds to the C12008T substitution
reported by Ammayappan et al. (as above).
[0141] The nucleotide sequence may be natural, synthetic or recombinant. It may be double or single stranded, it may
be DNA or RNA or combinations thereof. It may, for example, be cDNA, PCR product, genomic sequence or mRNA.
[0142] The nucleotide sequence may be codon optimised for production in the host/host cell of choice.
[0143] It may be isolated, or as part of a plasmid, virus or host cell.
PLASMID
[0144] A plasmid is an extra-chromosomal DNA molecule separate from the chromosomal DNA which is capable of
replicating independently of the chromosomal DNA. They are usually circular and double-stranded.
[0145] Plasmids, or vectors (as they are sometimes known), may be used to express a protein in a host cell. For
example a bacterial host cell may be transfected with a plasmid capable of encoding a particular protein, in order to
express that protein. The term also includes yeast artificial chromosomes and bacterial artificial chromosomes which
are capable of accommodating longer portions of DNA.
[0146] The plasmid of the present invention comprises a nucleotide sequence capable of encoding a defined region
of the replicase protein. It may also comprise one or more additional coronavirus nucleotide sequence(s), or nucleotide
sequence(s) capable of encoding one or more other coronavirus proteins such as the S gene and/or gene 3.
[0147] The plasmid may also comprise a resistance marker, such as the guanine xanthine phosphoribosyltransferase
gene (gpt) from Escherichia coli, which confers resistance to mycophenolic acid (MPA) in the presence of xanthine and
hypoxanthine and is controlled by the vaccinia virus P7.5 early/late promoter.
RECOMBINANT VACCINIA VIRUS
[0148] The present invention also relates to a recombinant vaccinia virus (rVV) comprising a variant replicase gene
as defined herein.
[0149] The recombinant vaccinia virus (rVV) may be made using a vaccinia-virus based reverse genetics system.
[0150] In this respect, also provided is a method for making a viral particle by:
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(i) transfecting a plasmid as described in the previous section into a host cell;
(ii) infecting the host cell with a recombining virus comprising the genome of a coronavirus strain with a replicase gene;
(iii) allowing homologous recombination to occur between the replicase gene sequences in the plasmid and the
corresponding sequences in the recombining virus genome to produce a modified replicase gene;
(iv) selecting for recombining virus comprising the modified replicase gene.
[0151] The term ’modified replicase gene’ refers to a replicase gene which comprises a variant replicase gene as
defined in the claims.
[0152] Specifically, the term refers to a gene which is derived from a wild-type replicase gene but comprises a nucleotide
sequence which causes it to encode a variant replicase protein as defined herein.
[0153] The recombination may involve all or part of the replicase gene. For example the recombination may involve
a nucleotide sequence encoding for any combination of nsp-10, nsp-14, nsp-15 and/or nsp-16. The recombination may
involve a nucleotide sequence which encodes for an amino acid mutation or comprises a nucleotide substitution as
defined above.
[0154] The genome of the coronavirus strain may lack the part of the replicase protein corresponding to the part
provided by the plasmid, so that a modified protein is formed through insertion of the nucleotide sequence provided by
the plasmid.
[0155] The recombining virus is one suitable to allow homologous recombination between its genome and the plasmid.
The vaccinia virus is particularly suitable as homologous recombination is routinely used to insert and delete sequences
for the vaccinia virus genome.
[0156] The above method optionally includes the step:
(v) recovery of recombinant coronavirus comprising the modified replicase gene from the DNA from the recombining
virus from step (iv).
[0157] Methods for recovering recombinant coronavirus, such as recombinant IBV, are known in the art (See Britton
et al (2005) see page 24; and WO2011004146).
[0158] For example, the DNA from the recombining virus from step (iv) may be inserted into a plasmid and used to
transfect cells which express cytoplasmic T7 RNA polymerase. The cells may, for example be pre-infected with a fowlpox
virus expressing T7 RNA polymerase. Recombinant coronavirus may then be isolated, for example, from the growth
medium.
[0159] When the plasmid is inserted into the vaccinia virus genome, an unstable intermediate is formed. Recombinants
comprising the plasmid may be selected for e.g. using a resistance marker on the plasmid.
[0160] Positive recombinants may then be verified to contain the modified replicase gene by, for example, PCR and
sequencing.
[0161] Large stocks of the recombining virus including the modified replicase gene (e.g. recombinant vaccinia virus,
(rVV) may be grown up and the DNA extracted in order to carry out step (v)).
[0162] Suitable reverse genetics systems are known in the art (Casais et al (2001) J. Virol 75:12359-12369; Casais
et al (2003) J. Virol. 77:9084-9089; Britton et al (2005) J. Virological Methods 123:203-211; Armesto et al (2008) Methods
in Molecular Biology 454:255-273).
CELL
[0163] The coronavirus may be used to infect a cell.
[0164] Coronavirus particles may be harvested, for example from the supernatant, by methods known in the art, and
optionally purified.
[0165] The cell may be used to produce the coronavirus particle.
[0166] Thus the present invention also provides a method for producing a coronavirus as defined in the claims which
comprises the following steps:
(i) infection of a cell with a coronavirus according to the invention;
(ii) allowing the virus to replicate in the cell; and
(iii) harvesting the progeny virus.
[0167] Also provided is a cell capable of producing a coronavirus using a reverse genetics system. For example, the
cell may comprise a recombining virus genome comprising a nucleotide sequence capable of encoding the replicase
gene of the present invention.
[0168] The cell may be able to produce recombinant recombining virus (e.g. vaccinia virus) containing the replicase
gene.
[0169] Alternatively the cell may be capable of producing recombinant coronavirus by a reverse genetics system. The
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cell may express or be induced to express T7 polymerase in order to rescue the recombinant viral particle.
VACCINE
[0170] The coronavirus may be used to produce a vaccine. The vaccine may be a live attenuated form of the coronavirus
of the present invention and may further comprise a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. As defined herein, ”pharmaceutically
acceptable carriers” suitable for use in the invention are well known to those of skill in the art. Such carriers
include, without limitation, water, saline, buffered saline, phosphate buffer, alcohol/aqueous solutions, emulsions or
suspensions. Other conventionally employed diluents and excipients may be added in accordance with conventional
techniques. Such carriers can include ethanol, polyols, and suitable mixtures thereof, vegetable oils, and injectable
organic esters. Buffers and pH adjusting agents may also be employed. Buffers include, without limitation, salts prepared
from an organic acid or base. Representative buffers include, without limitation, organic acid salts, such as salts of citric
acid, e.g., citrates, ascorbic acid, gluconic acid, histidine-Hel, carbonic acid, tartaric acid, succinic acid, acetic acid, or
phthalic acid, Tris, trimethanmine hydrochloride, or phosphate buffers. Parenteral carriers can include sodium chloride
solution, Ringer’s dextrose, dextrose, trehalose, sucrose, and sodium chloride, lactated Ringer’s or fixed oils. Intravenous
carriers can include fluid and nutrient replenishers, electrolyte replenishers, such as those based on Ringer’s dextrose
and the like. Preservatives and other additives such as, for example, antimicrobials, antioxidants, chelating agents (e.g.,
EDTA), inert gases and the like may also be provided in the pharmaceutical carriers. The present invention is not limited
by the selection of the carrier. The preparation of these pharmaceutically acceptable compositions, from the abovedescribed
components, having appropriate pH isotonicity, stability and other conventional characteristics is within the
skill of the art. See, e.g., texts such as Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, 20th ed, Lippincott Williams
& Wilkins, pub!., 2000; and The Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients, 4.sup.th edit., eds. R. C. Rowe et al, APhA
Publications, 2003.
[0171] The vaccine as defined in the claims is to be administered in a ”therapeutically effective amount”, which refers
to an amount of an active ingredient, e.g., an agent according to the invention, sufficient to effect beneficial or desired
results when administered to a subject or patient. An effective amount can be administered in one or more administrations,
applications or dosages. A therapeutically effective amount of a composition may be readily determined by one of ordinary
skill in the art. A ”therapeutically effective amount” is one that produces an objectively measured change in one or more
parameters associated Infectious Bronchitis condition sufficient to effect beneficial or desired results .An effective amount
can be administered in one or more administrations. An effective amount of drug, compound, or pharmaceutical composition
is an amount sufficient to reduce the incidence of Infectious Bronchitis. As used herein, the term ”therapeutic”
encompasses the full spectrum of treatments for a disease, condition or disorder. A ”therapeutic” agent of the invention
may act in a manner that is prophylactic or preventive, including those that incorporate procedures designed to target
animals that can be identified as being at risk (pharmacogenetics); or in a manner that is ameliorative or curative in
nature; or may act to slow the rate or extent of the progression of at least one symptom of a disease or disorder being
treated.
[0172] The present invention also relates to a method for producing such a vaccine which comprises the step of
infecting cells, for example Vero cells, with a viral particle comprising a replicase protein as defined in connection with
the first aspect of the invention.
VACCINATION METHOD
[0173] The coronavirus of the present invention may be used to treat and/or prevent a disease.
[0174] To ”treat” means to administer the vaccine to a subject having an existing disease in order to lessen, reduce
or improve at least one symptom associated with the disease and/or to slow down, reduce or block the progression of
the disease.
[0175] To ”prevent” means to administer the vaccine to a subject who has not yet contracted the disease and/or who
is not showing any symptoms of the disease to prevent or impair the cause of the disease (e.g. infection) or to reduce
or prevent development of at least one symptom associated with the disease.
[0176] The disease may be any disease caused by a coronavirus, such as a respiratory disease and and/or gastroenteritis
in humans and hepatitis, gastroenteritis, encephalitis, or a respiratory disease in other animals.
[0177] The disease may be infectious bronchitis (IB); Porcine epidemic diarrhoea; Transmissible gastroenteritis; Mouse
hepatitis virus; Porcine haemagglutinating encephalomyelitis; Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS); or Bluecomb
disease.
[0178] The disease may be infectious bronchitis.
[0179] The vaccine may be administered to hatched chicks or chickens, for example by eye drop or intranasal administration.
Although accurate, these methods can be expensive e.g. for large broiler flocks. Alternatives include spray
inoculation of administration to drinking water but it can be difficult to ensure uniform vaccine application using such
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methods.
[0180] The vaccine may be provided in a form suitable for its administration, such as an eye-dropper for intra-ocular use.
[0181] The vaccine may be administered by in ovo inoculation, for example by injection of embryonated eggs. In ovo
vaccination has the advantage that it provides an early stage resistance to the disease. It also facilitates the administration
of a uniform dose per subject, unlike spray inoculation and administration via drinking water.
[0182] The vaccine may be administered to any suitable compartment of the egg, including allantoic fluid, yolk sac,
amnion, air cell or embryo. It may be administered below the shell (aircell) membrane and chorioallantoic membrane.
[0183] Usually the vaccine is injected into embryonated eggs during late stages of embryonic development, generally
during the final quarter of the incubation period, such as 3-4 days prior to hatch. In chickens, the vaccine may be
administered between day 15-19 of the 21-day incubation period, for example at day 17 or 18.
[0184] The process can be automated using a robotic injection process, such as those described in WO 2004/078203.
[0185] The vaccine may be administered together with one or more other vaccines, for example, vaccines for other
diseases, such as Newcastle disease virus (NDV). The present disclosure also provides a vaccine composition comprising
a vaccine disclosed herein together with one or more other vaccine(s). Also provided is a kit comprising a vaccine
described herein together with one or more other vaccine(s) for separate, sequential or simultaneous administration.
[0186] The vaccine or vaccine composition of the invention may be used to treat a human, animal or avian subject.
For example, the subject may be a chick, chicken or mouse (such as a laboratory mouse, e.g. transgenic mouse).
[0187] Typically, a physician or veterinarian will determine the actual dosage which will be most suitable for an individual
subject or group of subjects and it will vary with the age, weight and response of the particular subject(s).
[0188] The composition may optionally comprise a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient or adjuvant.
The choice of pharmaceutical carrier, excipient or diluent can be selected with regard to the intended route of administration
and standard pharmaceutical practice. The pharmaceutical compositions may comprise as (or in addition to) the
carrier, excipient or diluent, any suitable binder(s), lubricant(s), suspending agent(s), coating agent(s), solubilising
agent(s), and other carrier agents that may aid or increase the delivery or immunogenicity of the virus.
[0189] The invention will now be further described by way of Examples, which are meant to serve to assist one of
ordinary skill in the art in carrying out the invention.
EXAMPLES
EXAMPLE 1 – Generation of an IBV reverse genetics system based on M41-CK
[0190] A M41-CK full-length cDNA was produced by replacement of the Beaudette cDNA in the Vaccinia virus reverse
genetics system previously described in WO2011/004146 with synthetic cDNA derived from the M41 consensus sequence.
[0191] The IBV cDNA within recombinant Vaccinia virus (rVV) rVV-BeauR-Rep-M41 structure described in Armesto,
Cavanagh and Britton (2009). PLoS ONE 4(10): e7384. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007384, which consisted of the replicase
derived from IBV Beaudette strain and the structural and accessory genes and 3’ UTR from IBV M41-CK, was
further modified by replacement of the Beaudette 5’ UTR-Nsp2-Nsp3 sequence with the corresponding sequence from
IBV M41-CK. The resulting IBV cDNA consisted of 5’ UTR-Nsp2-Nsp3 from M41, Nsp4-Nsp16 from Beaudette and the
structural and accessory genes and 3’ UTR from M41. This cDNA was further modified by the deletion of the Beaudette
Nsp4-Nsp16 sequence. The resulting cDNA, lacking Nsp4-16, was modified in four further steps in which the deleted
Nsps were sequentially replaced with the corresponding sequences from M41-CK, the replacement cDNAs represented
M41-CK Nsp4-8, Nsp9-12, Nsp12-14 and finally Nsp15-16. Each replacement cDNA contained approx. 500 nucleotides
at the 5’ end corresponding to the 3’ most M41 sequence previously inserted and approx. 500 nucleotides at the 3’ end
corresponding to the M41 S gene sequence. This allowed insertion of the M41 cDNA sequence by homologous recombination
and sequential addition of contiguous M41 replicase gene sequence. The synthetic cDNAs containing the M41-
derived Nsp sequences were added by homologous recombination utilising the inventor’s previous described transient
dominant selection (TDS) system (see WO2011/004146). The M41-derived cDNAs containing sequence corresponding
to the M41 Nsps-10, -14, -15 and -16 contained the modified amino acids at positions 85, 393, 183 and 209, respectively,
as indicated in Figure 10.
[0192] A full-length cDNA representing the genome of M41-CK was generated in Vaccinia virus representing the
synthetic sequences. Two rIBVs, M41-R-6 and M41-R-12, were rescued and shown to grow in a similar manner as M41-
CK (Fig. 1).
EXAMPLE 2 – Determining the pathogenicity of rescued M41 viruses
[0193] The viruses rescued in Example 1 were used to infect 8-day-old specific pathogen free (SPF) chicks by ocular
and nasal inoculation to test them for pathogenicity, as observed by clinical signs on a daily basis 3-7 days post-infection
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and for ciliary activity days 4 and 6 post-infection. Loss of ciliary activity is a well-established method for determining
the pathogenicity of IBV. The two M41-R viruses were found to be apathogenic when compared to M41-CK though they
did show some clinical signs in comparison to uninfected control chicks (Fig. 2) and some but inconsistent loss in ciliary
activity (Fig. 3).
[0194] Thus, the M41-R molecular clones of M41-CK were not pathogenic when compared to the parental virus M41-CK.
[0195] The inventors identified several nucleotide differences in the M41-R compared to the M41-CK sequences. The
majority of these were synonymous mutations, as the nucleotide change did not affect the amino acid sequence of the
protein associated with the sequence. However, four non-synonymous mutations were identified in the IBV replicase
gene specific to Nsp-10, Nsp-14, Nsp-15 and Nsp-16 components of the replicase gene, these mutations resulted in
amino acid changes (Table 3).
EXAMPLE 3 – Repair of M41-R rIBVs
[0196] In order to determine whether the identified mutations were responsible for the loss of pathogenicity associated
with M41-R, the Nsp10 mutation was repaired and the mutations in Nsp-14, -15 & -16 were repaired and shown to grow
in a similar manner as M41-CK (Fig 9). The inventors thus generated the rIBVs, M41R-nsp10rep and M41 R-nsp14, 15,
16rep, using synthetic cDNAs containing the correct nucleotides utilising the inventor’s orevious described (TDS) system
(see WO2011/004146).
[0197] The rIBVs were assessed for pathogenicity in chicks as described previously. Both rIBVs showed increased
pathogenicity when compared to M41-R but not to the level observed with M41-CK (Figs 4 and 5). M41R-nsp14, 15,
16rep gave more clinical signs and more reduction in ciliary activity than M41R-nsp10rep, overall these results indicated
that the changes associated with the four Nsps appear to affect pathogenicity.
[0198] To determine the roles of the Nsps in pathogenicity the full-length cDNA corresponding to M41R-nsp10rep was
used to repair the mutations in Nsps14, 15 & 16 using a synthetic cDNA containing the correct nucleotides utilising the
TDS system.
[0199] The following rIBVs were produced:-
M41R-nsp10, 15rep – M41-R with the mutations in Nsp-10 and Nsp-15 repaired
M41R-nsp10, 14, 15rep – M41-R with mutations in Nsp-10, -14 and -15 repaired
M41R-nsp10, 14, 16rep – M41-R with mutations in Nsp-10, -14 and -16 repaired
M41R-nsp10, 15, 16rep – M41-R with mutations in Nsp-10, -15 and -16 repaired
M41-K – All four mutations, Nsp-10,-14,-15 & -16 repaired in M41-R
[0200] The rIBVs were shown to grow in a similar manner as M41-CK (Fig 9) and assessed for pathogenicity as
described previously. M41-K (in which all four mutations had been repaired) resulted in clinical signs and 100% loss of
ciliary activity (complete ciliostasis) by 4 days post-infection (Fig. 6, 7 & 8). The other rIBVs demonstrated varying levels
of pathogenicity, apart from M41R-nsp10, 15, 16rep, which was essentially apathogenic. These results confirmed that
repair of all four Nsps restored pathogenicity to M41-R; again supporting the previous evidence that the mutations
described in the four Nsps are implicated in attenuating M41-CK.
[0201] The inventors also generated rIBV M41R-nsp 10, 14 rep (nsp 10 and 14 are repaired, nsp 15 and 16 contain
mutations) and rIBV M41R-nsp 10, 16 rep (nsp 10 and 16 are repaired, nsp 14 and 15 contain mutations) and assessed
the pathogenicity of these viruses.
[0202] rIBV M41R-nsp 10, 14 rep less pathogenic than M41-K but caused around 50% ciliostasis on days 4-6 postinfection.
rIBV M41R-nsp 10, 16 rep was almost apathogenic and caused no ciliostasis (see Figure 11a-c).
[0203] Thus the genome associated with M41-R is a potential backbone genome for a rationally attenuated IBV.
Table 3. Non-Synonymous mutations identified in the Nsps of M41-R full-length genome
Region of Replicase Nucleotide position Nucleotide Mutation Amino Acid Change
Nsp10 12137 C→T Pro→Leu
Nsp14 18114 G→C Val→Leu
Nsp15 19047 T→A Leu→Ile
Nsp16 20139 G→A Val→Ile
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EXAMPLE 4 – Vaccination/Challenge Study with M41-R
[0204] Candidate vaccine viruses were tested in studies in which fertilized chicken eggs were vaccinated in ovo at 18
days embryonation and in which the hatchability of the inoculated eggs was determined. The clinical health of the
chickens was investigated and the chickens were challenged at 21 days of age with a virulent IB M41 challenge virus
at 103.65 EID50 per dose.
[0205] Clinical signs were investigated after challenge protection by the vaccine and a ciliostasis test was performed
at 5 days after challenge to investigate the effect of the challenge viruses on movement of the cilia and protection by
the vaccine against ciliostasis (inhibition of cilia movement).
In ovo vaccination in commercial broiler eggs
[0206] The design of the experiment is given in Table 4 and the clinical results are given in Table 5. Hatchability of
the eggs inoculated with IB M41-R was good and chickens were healthy. IB M41-R protected against clinical signs after
challenge in the broilers (placebo: 19/19 affected, IB M41-R: 3/18 affected and 1 dead). The results of the ciliostasis
test are given in Table 6. IB M41-R generated protection against ciliostasis.
Table 4 – Design of a hatchability, safety, efficacy study in commercial eggs
Treatment Treatment
Description
EID50
1
per
dose
Route
of
Admin
Day(s) of
Admin
Day(s) of Challenge2 End of
Study
Nr. of eggs
per
treatment
T01 None NA NA NA NA NA 30
T02 IB M41-R 104 In ovo 18 days
embryonation
At 21 days of age, 20
chickens per group
At 26
days of
age
30
NTX Saline NA In ovo 30
1 Dose volume 0.1 ml, NA, not applicable.
2103.65 EID50 per dose.
Table 5 – Hatch percentages and clinical data before and after challenge in commercial chickens, for design see Table 1.
Treatment Hatch/total Vital/total Before challenge After challenge
Deaths/total Symptoms/total Deaths/total Symptoms/total
None 28/30 Euthanized directly after hatch for blood collection
IB M41-R 28/30 28/28 1/20 0/19 1/19 3/181,7
Saline 29/30 29/29 1/20 0/19 0/19 19/191,2,3,4,5,6,7
1 Disturbed respiratory system
2 Whizzing
3 Change of voice
4 Breathing difficult
5 Swollen intra-orbital sinuses
6 Uneven growth
7 Weak
Table 6 – Results of the ciliostasis test after challenge, for design see Table 1.
Treatment Protected/total Percentage protection
Saline 0/19 0%
IB M41R 5/18 28%
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In ovo vaccination in specific pathogen-free (SPF) eggs
[0207] The design of the study in SPF eggs is given in Table 7 and is similar with the design of the studies with
commercial broilers, but the vaccination dose for IB M41-R was higher, (105 EID50 per dose).
[0208] The results (Table 8) show that the hatch percentage for IB M41-R hatch was low, and 19 of 40 hatched and
the chicks were weak. Eight chicks died. The remaining 11 chickens were challenged and 11 of the chicks hatched from
the eggs which had been inoculated with saline were challenged.
[0209] In the ciliostasis test after challenge it appeared that all chickens vaccinated in ovo with IB M41-R were protected,
whereas none of the controls was protected, see Table 9.
[0210] In conclusion, IB M41-R was safe in commercial eggs, generated protection against clinical signs and to an
extent against ciliostasis.
[0211] In SPF eggs vaccinated with IB M41 R a relatively low number of chickens hatched. This may be due to the
105 EID50 per egg of IB M41-R used. This was 10-fold higher than the dose used in earlier studies in which there was
a higher level of hatchability. The lower hatch percentages may also be caused by a particularly high susceptibility of
the batch of SPF eggs for viruses, as in other studies the level of embryo mortality was also higher that had previously
been observed.
[0212] After challenge all surviving chickens after hatch were completely protected against ciliostasis. It is concluded
that IB M41-R has great potential as vaccine to be administered in ovo.
Claims
1. A live, attenuated coronavirus comprising a variant replicase gene encoding polyproteins comprising a mutation in
nsp-14, wherein the variant replicase gene encodes a protein comprising an amino acid mutation of Val to Leu at
Table 7. Design of a hatchability, safety, efficacy study in SPF eggs
Treatment Treatment
Description
EID50
1
per
dose
Route of
Admin
Day of Admin Days of
Challenge2
End of
Study
Nr. of eggs per
treatment
T01 IB M41-R 105 In ovo 18 days
embryonation
At 21 days
of age
At 26 days
of age
40
T04 Saline NA In ovo 40
NTX NA NA NA NA 10
1 Dose volume 0.1 ml, NA, not applicable.
2 Challenge dose 103.3 EID50 in 0.2 ml.
Table 8. Hatch percentages and clinical data before and after challenge in SPF chickens, for design see Table 7.
Treatment Hatch/total Vital/total Before challenge After challenge
Deaths/total Symptoms/total Deaths/total Symptoms/total
IB M41-R 19/40 11/40 8/40 weak 0 0
Saline 30/40 30/40 0 – 0 0
NA 9/10 9/10 0 – – –
Table 9. Results of the ciliostasis test after challenge, for design see Table 7.
Treatment Protected/total Percentage protection
Saline 0/11 0%
IB M41R 11/11 100%
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the position corresponding to position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7.
2. The coronavirus according to claim 1 further comprising a mutation in one or more of nsp-10 corresponding to SEQ
ID NO: 6, nsp-15 corresponding to SEQ ID NO: 8 and nsp-16 corresponding to SEQ ID NO: 9.
3. The coronavirus according to claim 2 wherein the variant replicase gene encodes a protein comprising one or more
amino acid mutations selected from: an amino acid mutation of Pro to Leu at the position corresponding to position
85 of SEQ ID NO: 6, an amino acid mutation of Leu to Ile at the position corresponding to position 183 of SEQ ID
NO: 8 and an amino acid mutation of Val to Ile at the position corresponding to position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
4. The coronavirus according to any preceding claim, wherein the replicase gene encodes a protein comprising the
amino acid mutations: Pro to Leu at the position corresponding to position 85 of SEQ ID NO: 6; Val to Leu at the
position corresponding to position 393 of SEQ ID NO: 7; Leu to Ile at the position corresponding to position 183 of
SEQ ID NO: 8; and Val to Ile at the position corresponding to position 209 of SEQ ID NO: 9.
5. The coronavirus according to any preceding claim which is an infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), preferably IBV M41.
6. The coronavirus according to claim 5, which comprises an S protein at least part of which is from an IBV serotype
other than M41, preferably wherein the S1 subunit is from an IBV serotype other than M41 or wherein the S protein
is from an IBV serotype other than M41.
7. A variant replicase gene as defined in any of claims 1 to 4.
8. A protein encoded by a variant coronavirus replicase gene according to claim 7.
9. A plasmid comprising a replicase gene according to claim 7.
10. A method for making the coronavirus according to any of claims 1 to 6 which comprises the following steps:
(i) transfecting a plasmid according to claim 9 into a host cell;
(ii) infecting the host cell with a recombining virus comprising the genome of a coronavirus strain with a replicase
gene, preferably wherein the recombining virus is a vaccinia virus;
(iii) allowing homologous recombination to occur between the replicase gene sequences in the plasmid and the
corresponding sequences in the recombining virus genome to produce a modified replicase gene; and
(iv) selecting for recombining virus comprising the modified replicase gene; optionally further comprising the
step of
(v) recovering recombinant coronavirus comprising the modified replicase gene from the DNA from the recombining
virus from step (iv).
11. A vaccine comprising a coronavirus according to any of claims 1 to 6 and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.
12. The vaccine according to claim 11 for use in preventing a disease in a subject, preferably wherein the disease is
infectious bronchitis (IB), most preferably wherein the vaccination is in ovo vaccination.
13. The vaccine for use according to claim 12 wherein the vaccine is administered by; eye drop administration, intranasal
administration, drinking water administration, post-hatch injection or in ovo injection.
14. A method for producing a vaccine according to claim 11, which comprises the step of infecting a host cell with a
coronavirus according to any of claims 1 to 6.
Patentansprüche
1. Lebendes, abgeschwächtes Coronavirus, umfassend eine Polyproteine codierende Replikase-Genvariante, die
eine Mutation in nsp-14 umfasst, wobei die Replikase-Genvariante ein Protein codiert, das eine Aminosäuremutation
von Val zu Leu an der Position 393 von SEQ ID NO: 7 entsprechenden Position umfasst.
2. Coronavirus nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend eine Mutation in einer oder mehreren von nsp-10 gemäß SEQ ID
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NO: 6, nsp-15 gemäß SEQ ID NO: 8 und nsp-16 gemäß SEQ ID NO: 9.
3. Coronavirus nach Anspruch 2, wobei die Replikase-Genvariante ein Protein codiert, das eine oder mehrere Aminosäuremutationen
ausgewählt aus einer Aminosäuremutation von Pro zu Leu an der Position 85 von SEQ ID NO:
6 entsprechenden Position, einer Aminosäuremutation von Leu zu Ile an der Position 183 von SEQ ID NO: 8
entsprechenden Position und einer Aminosäuremutation von Val zu Ile an der Position 209 von SEQ ID NO: 9
entsprechenden Position umfasst.
4. Coronavirus nach einem vorhergehenden Anspruch, wobei das Replikase-Gen ein Protein codiert, das die folgenden
Aminosäuremutationen umfasst: Pro zu Leu an der Position 85 von SEQ ID NO: 6 entsprechenden Position; Val
zu Leu an der Position 393 von SEQ ID NO: 7 entsprechenden Position; Leu zu Ile an der Position 183 von SEQ
ID NO: 8 entsprechenden Position; und Val zu Ile an der Position 209 von SEQ ID NO: 9 entsprechenden Position.
5. Coronavirus nach einem vorhergehenden Anspruch, bei dem es sich um ein IBV (Infectious Bronchitis Virus),
vorzugsweise IBV M41 handelt.
6. Coronavirus nach Anspruch 5, das ein S-Protein umfasst, das wenigstens zum Teil von einem anderen IBV-Serotyp
als M41 stammt, vorzugsweise wobei die S1-Untereinheit von einem anderen IBV-Serotyp als M41 stammt oder
wobei das S-Protein von einem anderen IBV-Serotyp als M41 stammt.
7. Replikase-Genvariante gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4.
8. Protein, codiert durch eine Coronavirus-Replikase-Genvariante nach Anspruch 7.
9. Plasmid, umfassend ein Replikase-Gen nach Anspruch 7.
10. Verfahren zur Herstellung des Coronavirus nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, das die folgenden Schritte umfasst:
(i) Transfizieren eines Plasmids nach Anspruch 9 in eine Wirtszelle;
(ii) Infizieren der Wirtszelle mit einem rekombinierenden Virus, das das Genom eines Coronavirusstamms mit
einem Replikase-Gen umfasst, vorzugsweise wobei es sich bei dem rekombinierenden Virus um ein Vacciniavirus
handelt;
(iii) Stattfindenlassen einer homologen Rekombination zwischen den Replikase-Gensequenzen im Plasmid und
den entsprechenden Sequenzen im Genom des rekombinierenden Virus, so dass ein modifiziertes Replikase-
Gen erzeugt wird; und
(iv) Selektionieren auf rekombinierendes Virus, das das modifizierte Replikase-Gen umfasst; gegebenenfalls
ferner umfassend den Schritt
(v) Gewinnen von rekombinantem Coronavirus, das das modifizierte Replikase-Gen umfasst, aus der DNA vom
rekombinierenden Virus aus Schritt (iv).
11. Impfstoff, umfassend ein Coronavirus nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6 und einen pharmazeutisch unbedenklichen
Träger.
12. Impfstoff nach Anspruch 11 zur Verwendung beim Vorbeugen einer Krankheit bei einem Individuum, vorzugsweise
wobei es sich bei der Krankheit um infektiöse Bronchitis (IB) handelt, ganz besonders bevorzugt wobei es sich bei
der Impfung um eine In-ovo-Impfung handelt.
13. Impfstoff zur Verwendung nach Anspruch 12, wobei der Impfstoff über Augentropfenverabreichung, intranasale
Verabreichung, Trinkwasserverabreichung, Post-hatch-Injektion oder In-ovo-Injektion verabreicht wird.
14. Verfahren zur Erzeugung eines Impfstoffs nach Anspruch 11, das den Schritt Infizieren einer Wirtszelle mit einem
Coronavirus nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6 umfasst.
Revendications
1. Coronavirus vivant atténué comprenant un gène de réplicase variant qui code pour des poly-protéines comprenant
une mutation dans le nsp-14, dans lequel le gène de réplicase variant code pour une protéine comprenant une
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mutation d’acide aminé de Val en Leu au niveau de la position correspondant à la position 393 de la SEQ ID n° : 7.
2. Coronavirus, selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre une mutation dans un ou plusieurs des nsp-10 correspondant
à la SEQ ID n° : 6, nsp-15 correspondant à la SEQ ID n° : 8 et nsp-16 correspondant à la SEQ ID n° : 9.
3. Coronavirus selon la revendication 2, dans lequel le gène de réplicase variant code pour une protéine comprenant
une ou plusieurs mutation(s) d’acide(s) aminé(s) choisie(s) parmi : une mutation d’acide aminé de Pro en Leu au
niveau de la position correspondant à la position 85 de la SEQ ID n° : 6, une mutation d’acide aminé de Leu en Ile
au niveau de la position correspondant à la position 183 de la SEQ ID n° : 8 et une mutation d’acide aminé de Val
en Ile au niveau de la position correspondant à la position 209 de la SEQ ID n° : 9.
4. Coronavirus selon l’une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le gène de réplicase code pour
une protéine comprenant les mutations d’acides aminés : Pro en Leu au niveau de la position correspondant à la
position 85 de la SEQ ID n° : 6 ; Val en Leu au niveau de la position correspondant à la position 393 de la SEQ ID
n° : 7 ; Leu en Ile au niveau de la position correspondant à la position 183 de la SEQ ID n° : 8 ; et Val en Ile au
niveau de la position correspondant à la position 209 de la SEQ ID n° : 9.
5. Coronavirus, selon l’une quelconque des revendications précédentes, qui est un virus de bronchite infectieuse (VBI),
de préférence le VBI M41.
6. Coronavirus, selon la revendication 5, qui comprend une protéine S dont au moins une partie provient d’un sérotype
de VBI autre que le M41, de préférence dans lequel la sous-unité S1 provient d’un sérotype de VBI autre que le
M41 ou dans lequel la protéine S provient d’un sérotype de VBI autre que le M41.
7. Gène de réplicase variant tel que défini dans l’une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4.
8. Protéine codée par un gène de réplicase de coronavirus variant selon la revendication 7.
9. Plasmide comprenant un gène de réplicase selon la revendication 7.
10. Procédé destiné à élaborer le coronavirus selon l’une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, qui comprend les étapes
suivantes :
(i) transfecter un plasmide, selon la revendication 9, dans une cellule hôte ;
(ii) infecter la cellule hôte avec un virus se recombinant qui comprend le génome d’une souche de coronavirus
avec un gène de réplicase, de préférence dans lequel le virus se recombinant est un virus de la vaccine ;
(iii) permettre qu’ait lieu une recombinaison homologue entre les séquences du gène de réplicase dans le
plasmide et les séquences correspondantes dans le génome du virus se recombinant pour produire un gène
de réplicase modifié ; et
(iv) faire une sélection en vue d’un virus recombinant qui comprend le gène de réplicase modifié ; en option
comprenant en outre l’étape consistant à
(v) récupérer un coronavirus recombinant, qui comprend le gène de réplicase modifié, à partir de l’ADN provenant
du virus se recombinant de l’étape (iv).
11. Vaccin comprenant un coronavirus, selon l’une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, et un véhicule acceptable
d’un point de vue pharmaceutique.
12. Vaccin, selon la revendication 11, destiné à être utilisé dans la prévention d’une maladie chez un sujet, de préférence
la maladie étant une bronchite infectieuse (BI), de manière préférée entre toutes dans lequel la vaccination est une
vaccination in ovo.
13. Vaccin destiné à être utilisé selon la revendication 12, dans lequel le vaccin est administré via : une administration
par gouttes oculaires, une administration intra-nasale, une administration par l’eau de boisson, une injection après
l’éclosion ou une injection in ovo.
14. Procédé destiné à produire un vaccin, selon la revendication 11, qui comprend l’étape d’infection d’une cellule hôte
par un coronavirus selon l’une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6.
EP 3 172 319 B1
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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION
This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader’s convenience only. It does not form part of the European
patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be
excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.
Patent documents cited in the description
• WO 2005049814 A2 [0007]
• WO 2004092360 A [0007]
• WO 2011004146 A [0157] [0190] [0191] [0196]
• WO 2004078203 A [0184]
Non-patent literature cited in the description
• MENACHERY, V. D. et al. J. Virol., 2014, vol. 88 (8),
4251-4264 [0007]
• DEVEREUX et al. Nucleic Acids Research, 1984, vol.
12, 387 [0094]
• ATSCHUL et al. J. Mol. Biol., 1990, 403-410 [0094]
• LARKIN et al. Clustal W and Clustal X version 2.0.
Bioinformatics, 2007, vol. 23, 2947-2948 [0094]
• FEMS Microbiol Lett, 1999, vol. 174 (2), 247-50
[0094]
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• AMMAYAPPAN et al. Arch Virol, 2009, vol. 154,
495-499 [0102]
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[0162]
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[0162]
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123, 203-211 [0162]
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• Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy.
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, pub!, 2000 [0170]
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Compassionate use programme – ett sätt att få frivilliga försökspatienter

Compassionate use är ett behandlingsalternativ som tillåter användning av ett icke godkänt läkemedel. Medkännande användningsområden program för patienter i Europeiska unionen (EU) som har en sjukdom utan tillfredsställande godkända behandlingar eller som inte kan ange en klinisk prövning. De  (Compassionate use) är avsedda att för sådana patienter underlätta tillgången till nya behandlingsalternativ under utveckling.

Medkännande innebär att använda program som ofta regleras genom lagstiftning i enskilda EU-medlemsstater för att göra läkemedel tillgängliga för en namngiven patient eller grupper av patienter.

Utöver detta ger EU: s lagstiftning en möjlighet för medlemsstaterna att be Europeiska läkemedelsmyndighetens kommitté för humanläkemedel för mänsklig användning (CHMP) att avge ett yttrande till alla EU: s medlemsstater om hur man administrerar, distribuera och använda vissa läkemedel för att få medkännande hos användare. CHMP identifierar också vilka patienter som kan dra nytta av sådan medkännande-användar program. Detta beskrivs i artikel 83 i förordning (EG) nr 726 / 2004External länkikonen och är ett komplement till den nationella lagstiftningen.

Målen i artikel 83 är följande:

underlätta och förbättra tillgången till medkännande använda program från patienter i EU;
främja en gemensam strategi när det gäller villkoren för användning, villkoren för distribution och patientmålgrupp för användning av humanitära skäl av otillåtna nya läkemedel;
öka öppenheten mellan medlemsstaterna när det gäller behandlingstillgänglighet.

Kommer orangutangen att utrotas

Skövling av skogsområden har gjort att nästan 80% av Malaysias och Indonesiens ursprungliga skogar har försvunnit och bara ca 2% av den skog som återstår är skyddad enligt lag.

Huvudorsakerna till förlusterna av skogsområdena är den kommersiella avverkningen, beredning för jordbruk, och omvandling till plantager (oftast oljepalmplantager). Avverkningen av skogen är dessutom ofta olaglig och öppnar upp nya vägar som ger tjuvskyttar tillgänglighet in i tidigare orörda områden.

Bränder som härjar okontrollerat för att rensa mark till oljepalmplantager och jordbruk är också ett stort problem. På ett år (1997) förstördes miljontals hektar skog och många orangutanger brändes ihjäl. WWF Indonesien uppskattar att kanske så mycket som 10 miljoner hektar skog brann ner.

Jakten och husdjurshandeln fortsätter trots försök att stoppa dem. Trots att det är olagligt dödas orangutanger för sitt kött sk bushmeat. De är dessutom lätta måltavlor då de rör sig sakta. Det sker också en handel med kroppsdelar, speciellt skallar. Mellan 1995-1999 importerade Taiwan 1000 orangutanger, som bl a används som husdjur, på samma sätt som vi har hundar och katter. Det anses ge en hög status. Av sex infångade orangutanger tror man att fem dör i samband med fångst och transport.

Läs mer på WWF Orangutangen

Syrienkrisen måste lösas av muslimska länder.

Syrienkrisen är inte bara ett problem med FN och vetorätt. Att väst återigen med militära styrkor ska gå in i ett muslimsk land är nästintill att be om nya terroristkampanjer världen över.

Bäst vore om Turkiet tog tag i det tillsammans med Arabiska förbundet.

Då USA tillsammans med allierade gjorde sitt oprovocerade angrepp på Irak 2003 gav man Al Qaida ett rekryteringsunderlag hos alla muslimska grupper i hela världen.

Det skulle sedan resultera i en ökad terrorism i många västländer som deltog i Irakkriget. I Al Qaida terrorn ingick en strategi att skapa massiv internationell osäkerhet och man fann också sådana taktiska utfästelser i program som främst amerikansk underrättelsetjänst kom åt via sina undersökningar.

Även om själva utförandet ibland inte gick att knyta till just Al Qaida pekade allt åt detta håll Spanien, Italien, England och även Danmark drabbades. Svensk säkerhetspolitik var tvungen att uppgradera hotet även mot det svenska folket.

Så långt in som 2008 ansågs hoten alarmerande.

Bakgrunden är att England, Spanien och Danmark m fl länder, valde att ansluta sig till USA och gå in i Irak i mars 2003. Det som kom att kallas Irakkriget. Angreppet från USA och dess allierade på Irak ansågs officiellt ha sina motiv i de av Bin Ladin och Al Qaida orkestrerade  11 september attackerna och som det visade sig obefogade anklagelser om Irakiska  massförstörelsevapen.

Sonen Bush fick order att städa upp efter pappa Bush som borde har tagit itu med Saddam i direkt anslutning till Kuwaitkriget. Nu vågade inte Bush senior ta på sig rollen att slutföra jobbet. Oron för och riskerna med  att attackera ett muslimskt land skulle senare visa sig befogad.

Nu står USA och väst inför en motsvarande situation i Syrien. Men man vill inte ge terrorismen en ny grund för attacker på väst.

I kommentera till en egen Newsmill artikel 2011

#6 Börje Peratt, 2011-04-01,

Så här rapporterade Sveriges Radio idag: ”…president Assad kan lita på att inga av grannländerna, varken Jordanien, Irak, eller Libanon, vill se Syrien falla ner i så kallad instabilitet, inte ens ärkefienden Israel. USA är beroende av Syrien för att kunna lämna Irak. Det har än så länge inte höjts några röster för utländsk intervention för att skydda den syriska civilbefolkningen.”

Riskerna för en en ny kris i Syrien på Newsmill och i en kommentar till en artikel gav jag följande förklaring

#7 Börje Peratt, 2011-04-01,

… det fanns en FN plan för hur man skulle ta sig an Irak innan USA intervenerade. Bush, republikanerna och USA körde över FN och denna plan. Man lyckades med olagligt angreppskrig få bort Saddam Hussein och hans styre. Därmed kan man säga att ”ändamålen helgar medlen”. Men samtidigt har man dödat fler oskyldiga civila än Saddam någonsin var i närheten av. Man har orsakat en terrorvåg utan like och lagt grogrund för ständiga terrorbomber inom Irak och internationellt. Om man nu ville få bort diktatorn så hade det funnits smartare, mindre kostsamma och för befolkningen mer humanitära sätt. Men då måste man ju tänka och inte gå på reptilhjärnans lynchmobbsbeteende.

Det tog således ett år för väst att reagera på Syrienkrisen med krav som naturligtvis Kina och Ryssland motsatte sig. Ingen av dessa länder har gjort sig kända för att skydda mänskliga rättigheterna för sitt eget folk.

Nu försöker utrikesminister Clinton undvika en ny Irakfadäs medan civilbefolkningen i Iran mördas av sin egen president och egen militär. Det är naturligtvis oerhört frustrerande att dagens Obama administration ska lida för tidigare presidenters olyckliga  klavertramp. Men USA och väst har inte råd att starta upp en ny terroristkampanj eller föda fram en ny bin Ladin.

Börje Peratt

Lös palestinakonflikten

President Obama tar nu ett nytt historisk kliv i sin ”Yes we can” intention att förbättra världen.

Bo Inge Andersson, utrikeskommentator på SVT har uppfattat det som att Israels premiärminister Netanyahu har trängt in Obama i ett hörn, när det sannolikt är tvärtom.

Obama har en medveten plan och den går ut på att skapa en rättvis och hållbar lösning för Israel och Palestina. Obama vet vad han gör och är beredd att ta de risker som det för med sig.

Vid två tidigare tillfällen då Israel har ställts mot väggen har initiativtagarna för fred mördats av israeliska terrorister. Folke Bernadotte sköts av Sternligan 1948 och Israels förre premiärminister Yitzhak Rabins sköts 1994 då han tillsamman med PLO ledaren Yassir Arafat kom överens om upprättandet av en palestinsk stat.

Vägkartan för fred 1991-94 var det förslag FN: s säkerhetsråd gav USA, EU, FN och Ryssland baserat på ett israeliskt tillbakadragande, eldupphör och upprättandet av en palestinsk stat. Efter Rabins död dog förslaget. USA gav stöd åt Sharons krav att Arafat måste bort som villkor för fred. Idag ser vi att Israel använder samma taktik när det gäller Hamas. Jag är inte säker på att Obama är lika tillmötesgående som Bush.

Både Israel och Palestina måste nu klara av att presentera en förhandlingsdelegation som inser att de också står under de krav som gäller för ”Den nya Vägkartan för fred- med 1967 års gränser”. Arbetet bör starta senast 1:a augusti Och att de ska vara överens senast 1:a augusti 2012 annars måste världssamfundet kunna presentera sin lösning. Och i och med den så måste både Israel och Palestina sättas under FN-mandat om de inte kommer överens. Då ska således världssamfundets gränser gälla.

En viktig förutsättning är att vad som än händer under detta år får det inte påverka förhandlingarna. De ska genomföras i ett historiskt vakuum. Bäst vore om delegationen isolerades utan mediakontakt och tvingades arbeta i skift dygnet runt så att de kommer överens av ren utmattning.

Naturligtvis finns det andra sätt att driva igenom en lösning inte minst ekonomiska.

Martti Ahtisaari tidigare finsk president och fredsnobel pristagare säger:

De som är inblandade i de ”frusna konflikterna” klarar inte av att själva lösa dem. Världssamfundet måste ta i med ”hårdhandskarna” och genomföra vad som krävs för att skapa fred.

Bo Inge nämner att judarna i USA kommer att vända sig mot Obama om han driver en fredslinje som omfattar ett Israeliskt tillbakadragande och en Palestinsk stat. Så enkelt är det inte. USA´s judar är ingen enhetlig rigid sammanslutning. Snarare är det så att ett stort antal judar nu önskar en lösning och samverkar med palestinier. Demokratirörelsen i mellanöstern har stöd även bland USA´s judar och muslimer.

Ska det nu bli tredje gången gillt. Och kommer Obama att klara alla försök till attacker. Jag tror det. Och jag är inte säker på att hans kompromisslöshet för fred och demokrati kommer att straffa sig. Det finns även intelligenta humanistiska amerikaner och dom kommer att ge honom en ny presidentperiod.

Nu ställs två viktiga frågor. Obama måste sätta en tidsgräns, ett exakt datum då de nya gränserna ska gälla. Låt oss säga 1:a augusti 2012.

Obama måste också nu inom kort visa USA´s ställningstagande när det gäller Ship to Ghaza. Naturligtvis med krav på att hela projektet är garanterat ickevåld. Kan Ship to Ghaza inte garantera detta kommer projektet att stoppas innan man kommer iväg.