2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The main objective is to understand the molecular basis of the pathogenesis and immune response during the infection with African Swine Fever virus (ASFV). It is expected to gain knowledge to allow the development of experimental immunogens.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1) Evaluate the effect of specific ASFV genes as immunogens in the induction of protection against the challenge with virulent virus.
2) Evaluate the interaction of ASFV genes previously involved in virus virulence with host swine proteins.
3) Evaluate the effect of chemical compounds, which have demonstrated effect in the virus growth in vitro, in the pathogenesis of the disease in swine.
This collaborative research agreement seeks to develop experimental immunogens against African Swine Fever (ASF) infection, which is a devastating disease effecting swine. Although historically restricted to Africa, the disease is currently spreading in the Caucasus and Russia, menacing to enter Easter Europe in the near future. No vaccine is available, therefore the only tool to restrict the diffusion of the disease outbreak in a disease free area is by massive destruction of affected animals as well as the preventive elimination of the near-by susceptible ones.
During FY 2012, the interaction of ASFV protein 8DR (CD2 homolog) of strain Georgia was analyzed in terms of its reactivity with macrophage (the main type of cell target during infection in vivo) swine proteins. A particular host cell protein, NFYB, was identified as natural ligand of ASFV 8DR gene using two hybrid yeast system. This swine protein is known to be a nuclear transcription factor which regulates the expression of several important cellular genes involved in different cellular pathways.
The deliverables of this collaborative agreement compliment ARS in-house research project 1940-32000-056-00D, Countermeasures to Control Foreign Animal Diseases of Swine, objective 2, Develop intervention strategies to control African Swine Fever virus by identifying virus-host determinants of virulence and transmission and by developing technologies to enable the development of ASF vaccines that are efficacious against the most prevalent ASFV strains.