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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research

Project Number: 5030-32000-105-00-D
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 1, 2011
End Date: Sep 30, 2016

1) Define the virulence determinants and mechanisms involved with the primary bacteria associated with bovine respiratory disease. Subobjectives: (1a) Determine the role of selected molecules at the host-bacterial interface in mucosal colonization and disease; (1b) Comparative genomic analysis of Pasteurella multocida and Mannheimia haemolytica. 2) Design disease models and experiments to evaluate the interaction, pathology, temporal pathogenesis, and immune response induced by bacteria and viruses associated with bovine respiratory disease. Subobjectives: (2a) Development of BRSV/bacterial and BVDV/bacterial co-infection models to be used in studies on pathogenesis and immune responses induced by bacteria and viruses associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD); (2b) Determine the interaction of Mannheimia haemolytica in commensal and pathogen status from virus-infected calves. 3) Develop intervention strategies to control bovine respiratory disease by developing novel vaccines and novel immunomodulators. Subobjectives: (3a) Evaluate the immune response and efficacy against pulmonary challenge using modified-live P. multocida deficient in LPS sialylation and/or capsule expression; (3b) Evaluate the effects of vitamin D status on growth and immune response capacity of the calf and its response to experimental challenge with pathogens in causing BRD. 4) Determine the impact of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria associated with bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) and develop intervention strategies to reduce antibiotic use using current models for BRDC. Subobjectives (4a) Determine the impact of antibiotic resistant bacteria in bacteria associated with BRDC. (4b) Develop intervention strategies to reduce antibiotic used using current models for BRDC.

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.

Last Modified: 2/23/2016
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