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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 05, 2007
End Date: Aug 17, 2010

The goals of this project are to improve the industry's ability to detect and control viral infections of ruminants (principally cattle), with an emphasis of bovine viral diarrhea viruses (BVDV). Detection will be improved by the generation of robust field-ready tests that both detect and differentiate viral pathogens. Limiting and controlling viral infections will require research efforts to generate a more thorough understanding of viral/host interactions and identifying the mechanism(s) behind viral pathogenesis. This project has three objectives: Obj. 1. Develop innovative methods to detect infection in individual animals and to conduct surveillance of animal populations for endemic viral pathogens Obj. 2. Elucidate mechanisms involved in the development of and identify means to detect prolonged and persistent viral infections. Obj. 3. Develop tools to measure and means to limit impact of ruminant infection with viral pathogens.

This project focuses on filling knowledge and technology gaps that hamper the detection and control of bovine viral diarrhea viruses (BVDV). Reduction of BVDV infections in the national herd requires effective surveillance programs, efficacious vaccines, and reliable means to detect both persistent and acute infections. As the BVDV control program progresses, there will be a need to differentiate between natural exposure and vaccination. Knowledge gaps to be addressed include: basic information regarding BVDV infection in wild cervids; the nature of the immunological, cellular and physiological changes accompanying the development of persistent infections; and the responsiveness of the neonate to vaccination. In addition, surveillance for newly arising BVDV variations will be maintained. Technology gaps will be addressed by: assessing new diagnostic readout methods; examining possible methods for detection of persistently infected animals in utero; and exploring marker vaccine development. Approaches to achieve these goals are to: examine the use of atomic force microscopy and Raman spectroscopy as readout methods; characterize BVDV infections in fawns and pregnant white tail deer; work with a network of laboratories to identify and characterize variant BVDV; compare fetal and associated maternal tissues from normal and persistently infected fetuses; evaluate the use of an infectious clone as a marker vaccine; and characterize the immune responses of neonates to vaccination. Some techniques to be used include phylogenetic analysis, comparative pathogenesis, genetic engineering, and serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE). BSL-2N; Recertified 10/31/09 #0131. BSL-2; Recertified 10/20/09 #0188. BSL-Exempt; Recertified 10/31/09 #0182. BSL-Exempt; Recertified 10/31/09 #0225. BSL-Exempt; Recertified 10/31/09 #0226. BSL-2, BSL-2N; Certified 12/7/07 #0296; cancelled 11/18/08. BSL-2, BSL-2N; Certified 01/20/10 #0318. BSL-2; certified 9/21/09 #0328.

Last Modified: 7/28/2015
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