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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: A Comprehensive Research Program in African Swine Fever Towards the Development of Novel Countermeasures

Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research

Project Number: 1940-32000-056-13
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Mar 30, 2012
End Date: Dec 31, 2014

Objective:
This research project seeks to address the threat of an introduction and subsequent outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) into the United States through a comprehensive research program aimed at countermeasure development. Specific objectives include: 1. Development of challenge model for ASF to characterize pathogenesis and evaluate novel countermeasure products. 2. Determine the immune mechanisms of protection induced by attenuated strains. 3. Determine the role of viral proteins in virulence/ pathogenesis/ protection through functional genomic analysis.

Approach:
1. The development of a challenge model for ASF will be accomplished through challenging pigs with virulent ASFV via different routes (oral, nasal, and intramuscular) and at varying doses. The goal is to develop a system of viral challenge that accurately simulates natural infection. Model efficacy will be evaluated by characterizing viral dynamics in live animals and post-mortem samples. 2. The immune response to challenge with attenuated strains will be determined by analyzing the onset of protection. Comparative studies will be conducted using virulent and attenuated stratins focusing on temporal, anatomic and phenotypic characterization of ASFV distribution. Pro-inflammatory chemical mediators will be analyzed and cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity studied to determine mechanisms of immune response. 3. Bioinformatic analysis will be conducted on ASFV proteins to determine their role(s) in virulence/pathogenesis/ protection. Further analysis will be conducted to determine the host–virus interaction at the genomic level using microarray technology.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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