Start Date: Oct 01, 2011
End Date: Sep 30, 2016
Binding of bacteria to mucosal surfaces, and evasion of host innate and adaptive immunity are critical to successful colonization and maintenance of infection. Identification of key molecular players in these interactions should enable potentially effective intervention strategies. We will focus initially on 2 relevant molecular factors for this endeavor: LPS which, when sialylated, was shown to be pivotal to disease progression in a model of P. multocida disease; and filamentous hemagglutinin which has been implicated as an important mediator of mucosal adhesion and systemic invasion. We propose to establish a reference genome sequence for bovine P. multocida for use in transcriptomic analysis and to compare the reference genome to other isolates. We further propose to compare bovine lung isolates of M. haemolytica serotypes 1, 2, and 6 in order to determine potential molecular mechanisms of serotype specificity in disease pathogenesis. While much knowledge has been gained regarding the individual pathogens involved in BRD, less is known concerning co-infections involving viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens. Given the expertise of our research team, and specific etiologic agent prevalance in the field, we will focus on BVDV and BRSV as the viral pathogens. For bacterial co-challenge, P. multocida and M. bovis were selected because both are commonly considered highly opportunistic compared to M. haemolytica and H. somni which are much more capable of primary lung infection. We plan to develop reproducible models of viral predisposition to bacterial disease and to characterize the host and infectious agents’ response using a comprehensive transcriptomic approach. Sialylation of LPS has been found to be a critical feature in disease pathogenesis wherein the organism is greatly attenuated by inactivation of the system. There is evidence that sialylation may confer immunologic stealth to the organism, whereby the organism is not recognized as foreign to the host. The sialylated LPS enables the pathogen to evade recognition by the host’s immune system. We propose to evaluate and compare the efficacy of acapsular, asialic, and combined acapsule/asialic mutants as vaccines in calves. Mechanisms predisposing the calf to BRD have not been completely elucidated; however, in addition to roles for viral/bacterial interactions and immune modulation, physiological stresses related to management practices may alter immune compentency. Vitamin D, a fat-soluble hormone critical for assuring calcium homeostasis modulates both innate and adaptive immune responses in other species. We expect Vitamin D status will influence the functional capacity of the immune system of the calf pre-challenge and reduce the severity and duration of respiratory disease following experimental infection with BRSV alone or in combination with bacterial pathogens.