Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research
Project Number: 8064-32000-057-36-A
Project Type: General Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2013
End Date: Feb 1, 2018
Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a high priority re-emerging zoonotic transboundary disease with high economic implications which threatens animal health and livestock production in sub-Saharan African nations. This research project seeks to produce improved diagnostic reagents and tests for FMD surveillance tailored to Foot-and-Mouth Diseae Virus (FMDV) types of the sub-Sahara territories in Africa. Specific objectives of this collaboration include: 1. Work with collaborators from Ben Gurion University (Israel), Makerere University (Uganda) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (Uganda) to develop a comprehensive surviellance program for FMDV in Uganda. 2. Development of an inexpensive FMDV diagnostic kit based on camel monoclonal antibodies.
1. Field samples of FMD serotype South African Territories (SAT), A and O obtained and identified by PCR, sequencing and molecular epidemiology. Samples will be sent to ARS, PIADC for virus isolation. UVRI will document available subtypes and serotypes and their distribution in Uganda for related vaccine development projects. For each sample obtained, epidemiologic properties and clinical features associated with the disease will be captured (e.g. disease presentation and severity in the individual animal, number and type of animals affected, case-fatality rate in affected herd, time of onset and vaccine status of affected individual and herd). This information will be used to “phenotype” each virus isolate. 2. UVRI scientists will be trained at Ben Gurion University (BGU) (Israel) in molecular techniques of camel monoclonal antibody technology. Strain specific diagnostic tests for FMDV strains circulating in Uganda will be developed and produced at BGU with camel monoclonal antibodies. Strain diversity within and between the geographically distinct districts that are surveyed in Uganda will be determined by ARS, PIADC. Camel monoclonal antibodies (cMAbs) will be isolated, and those specific to local FMDV strains, used in the production of ELISA based kits for surveillance in Uganda. The approach will be to produce virus specific cMAbs in camelids directed against the FMDV structural proteins (SP)and non-structural proteins (NSPs). Using an eukaryotic expression sytem tailored to the FMDV proteins, reactive hybridoma clones to the capsid, the 3D and 3ABC proteins will be screened and selected. Additionally, efforts will be aimed at development of suitable and easy to deploy DIVA (differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals) tests utilizing the camel MAbs in a test platform.