Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research
Project Number: 8064-32000-060-10-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2015
End Date: Jun 30, 2018
The objective of this research project is to construct recombinant adenoviruses containing African Swine Fever (ASFV) genes predicted to induce protective immunity and to test the adenoviruses in protecting pigs against ASFV infection. The success of this research will provide valuable information for developing an ASF vaccine.
In previous work conducted at ARS, PIADC, we used a functional genomics approach to understand why it is difficult to develop ASF vaccines. Our data show that ASFV express at least 183 genes and the gene expression profiles change a great deal at different time post infection, which could be troublesome for the immune system not only to mount effective immune response but also to eliminate the infected cells. On the other hand, unlike classical swine fever virus infection, the expression of type I and II interferon receptors was significantly down-regulated after ASFV infection and the chemokines that recruit CD8+ cytotoxic T cells were induced only at 3 hours post infection. These data indicate that only ASFV antigen expressed within 3 hours post infection are not only better immunogens but also protective antigens. Therefore, we will design a vaccine candidate containing these early viral proteins as antigens in order to induce effective immune response that could translated into protection in ASFV infected pigs. Unlike other reported research in ASFV vaccine development, our approach used computational biology to predict ASFV proteins that most likely induce the protective immunity based on biological inferences from our results and scientific publications. These viral antigens will be delivered using adenovirus vector for vaccination.