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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research » Research » Research Project #422154

Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Control and Prevent Disease Outbreaks Caused by Avian Influenza and Other Emerging Poultry Pathogens

Location: Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research

Project Number: 6040-32000-063-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 11, 2011
End Date: Sep 30, 2016

1. Characterize variant and emerging avian influenza viruses in live poultry markets and commercial production systems. 2. Elucidate the host-pathogen interactions of avian influenza virus infections, including determining host-virus factors that influence infection outcome in different poultry hosts. 3. Develop intervention strategies to effectively control avian influenza and stop disease outbreaks, including identifying conserved B- and T-cell epitopes within and between virus subtype to target in new vaccine platforms or improvement of existing vaccines, and characterizing the humoral and cellular immune response to wild-type infection, and compare it to attenuated and inactivated vaccines to identify correlates of protection. 4. Improve existing diagnostic tests and testing strategies for avian influenza virus surveillance, detection, and recovery from disease outbreaks. 5. Develop new vaccine platforms designed to control and prevent avian influenza virus outbreaks.

These objectives include a combination of basic and applied research to give us the knowledge and tools to effectively control avian influenza virus (AIV). The first objective focuses on characterizing new and emerging strains of AIV, initially by genome sequencing and analysis, then by pathogenesis and transmission studies, and finally by antigenic characterization. The second objective will elucidate specific viral factors involved in pathogenesis and virulence at a molecular level including utilizaiton of variant isolates initially characterized under objective 1. Experimental challenge in poultry and wild bird species will be conducted. The third objective will investigate the viral factors involved in transmission and host adaptation of AIV among avian species with reverse genetics and pathogensis studies. Transmission in chickens and pekin ducks will be evaluated. Under objective 4 diagnostic tests will be improved by characterizing novel isolates to assure specificity and by adapting novel technologies to improve sentivity and specificity. New vaccines will be developed and evaluated through a variety of approaches including antigenic and molecular characterization for objective 5.