Start Date: Nov 17, 2006
End Date: Sep 30, 2011
Identification of specific pathways that associate with variation in porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) replication and macrophage function leading to novel gene targets for the control of PRRSV infection. Alveolar macrophages will be obtained from diverse populations of swine and evaluated for their ability to support replication of PRRS viruses. Replication parameters will be estimated and macrophages that support either high or low levels of virus replication will be selected for studies of gene expression. Identifying PRRSV genotypes that confer fitness in macrophages, and host genes that respond to PRRSV fitness, to provide novel targets for intervention and control of PRRSV infections. These studies will use adapted isolates to identify viral genotypes that correlate with fitness of PRRSV in porcine alveolar macrophages and corresponding changes in macrophage transcriptional profiles. Genetic variation in specific ovine genes influences predisposition to ovine lentivirus (OLV) and the associated disease, ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP). We will thoroughly evaluate the most obvious candidate genomic regions for effects on lentiviral disease, like that containing CCR5. Our aim is to evaluate important regions of the genome for allelic association with the OLV disease susceptibility and progression phenotypes. Selection of regions will be based on a variety of scientific observations including, but not limited to, comparative mammalian biology. A selected set of 90 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers will be identified that are highly-informative in beef and dairy cattle. The development of this marker set represents non-hypothesis-driven research. The markers and genotyping assays for the markers will be readily available for any traceback needs. The same markers are also ideal for animal identification (i.e., sample matching) and routine parentage analysis. After ear tags and other physical identification devices have been removed, an animal’s DNA remains as a stable, accessible, integral, and identifiable component of its products and, thus, provides a gold standard for auditing the fidelity of physical labels and associated records.