2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop immunologic tools to enhance our understanding of swine immune system development and host responses to mucosal diseases. The cooperator is interested in preventing infectious disease and controlling their spread through development of effective therapeutics and vaccines for cattle and swine.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Increase the understanding of how pigs responds to infection, by developing reagents that identify immune proteins [type I interferons (IFNs) and the IFN-alpha/beta receptor (IFNAR)] that regulate the early, or “innate” immune events. The COOPERATOR will assist in the development of similar reagents for cattle. Specifically, 19 reagents are identified by DHS and USDA-ARS as high priority reagents for US VIRN to develop to support foreign animal disease research programs (e.g., Foot and Mouth Disease; Rift Valley Fever; Classical Swine Fever).
In this agreement swine innate immune reagents were developed to help scientists probe immune responses to infectious disease threats and to improve vaccine design. VIRN (www.vetimm.org) was established to address the dearth of immunological reagents for food animal species. ARS Researchers at Beltsville, MD, working with Kansas State U. scientists have expressed swine type 1 interferons (IFNs), IFNa1, IFNa6, IFNb, and will transfer these products to Cornell U. to prepare monoclonal antibodies to these unique IFNs and to their receptor, IFNAR1/2. A repository for products and hybridomas generated by this is being developed with commercial partners. Products generated by this grant and by VIRN will be used by animal health researchers, veterinarians, vaccine manufacturers, and other commercial sources to improve responses to infectious disease outbreaks. (NP103 2C)
The VIRN website for swine immunological reagents was expanded over the past year. ARS Researchers at Beltsville, MD, have provided all documentation and knowhow for the USDA CSREES grant supported immune toolkit or VIRN website (http://www.umass.edu/vetimm/swine/index.html) swine pages. They scanned commercial websites and publications for swine immune reagents and organized the data into easily accessible Tables of currently available reagents for swine immunology. This list served as the basis for updating the Swine priorities for developing new VIRN immune reagents and for VIRN colleagues and swine collaborators to develop plans for their production. Posted results as well as updated Protocols on the VIRN website. As a result this website enables researchers worldwide to quickly identify available immune tools for their experiments. Overall swine disease and vaccine researchers have improved tools to address pig health and vaccine design. (NP103 2C)
Communications for this grant have been supported by ARS by providing conference call line access for the monthly calls that review Network plans and progress. Email and phone communication are regularly exchanged between the participating labs as specific reagents are developed and screened.