Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research
Project Number: 8064-32000-057-45-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 1, 2012
End Date: Aug 31, 2013
The objective of this collaboration is to demonstrate the use of computational algorithms to predict epitopes for T cells isolated from genetically defined swine. USDA-ARS and the University of Rhode Island (URI) will independently conduct analysis of the antigenic epitopes recognized by T cells that mediate adaptive immune responses to viruses and viral antigens utilizing different algorithmic techniques.
USDA-ARS has adapted an assay developed at University of Copenhagen (Denmark) for human proteins to swine, which involves expressing the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins in vitro in E. coli, isolating and purifying the proteins and analyzing the capacity of these proteins to bind antigenic peptides derived from pathogenic viruses. This technology has been applied to predictions using an algorithm developed by the Danish collaborators and it has been shown that the algorithm for human proteins successfully predicts swine protein attributes. The University of Rhode Island has independently developed an algorithm for these predictions. Both algorithms will be tested utilizing recombinant proteins of swine and compared for relative accuracy and capacity to identify T cell epitopes in pigs.