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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Virus and Prion Research » Research » Research Project #425941

Research Project: Use of Interferon Alpha as an Immunomodulator and Metaphylactic Therapeutic during PRRSV Outbreaks

Location: Virus and Prion Research

Project Number: 5030-32000-109-08-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 1, 2013
End Date: Jun 1, 2015

The objectives of this research proposal are two-fold. First, to determine whether the presence of interferon alpha (IFNa), a type I interferon that has immediate antiviral effects as well as immune modulatory effects, can significantly diminish porcine reproductive and respiratory disease virus (PRRSV) replication and spread to other pigs if given metaphylactically. Secondly, to determine whether having elevated IFNa levels at the time of exposure to vaccination will improve the timing and quality of the immune response and protect from subsequent exposure to PRRSV.

One group of pigs will be infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory disease virus (PRRSV) and 2 days later these pigs, as well as naïve contacts placed in with these pigs, will be treated via parenteral administration of an adenovirus vector expressing IFNa and/or vaccinated to determine the effect these treatments have on the development of disease and spread of PRRSV to naïve herd mates. These pigs and additional pigs that were not challenged but also treated with IFNa and/or vaccinated will be subsequently challenged with a heterologous strain of PRRSV to assess subsequent protection.