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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Research Project #431901

Research Project: Evaluation of Swine Immunity and Development of Novel Immune and Genomic Intervention Strategies to Prevent and/or Treat Respiratory Diseases of Swine

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-32000-102-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 31, 2016
End Date: Oct 30, 2021

Highly infectious diseases of pigs present exceptional challenges to producers. Novel approaches are required to maintain animal health and welfare, particularly as scientists work to develop alternatives to the use of antibiotics for pathogen control. This project will explore immune and genomic-based approaches for understanding host-pathogen interactions. Probing the genetic variations associated with infection, immune evasion, innate and adaptive immune responses, and disease susceptibility and resistance will lead to improved animal health and alternatives for disease control and vaccine design. The goal of this research project is to develop effective countermeasures for preventing and controlling important respiratory diseases of pigs, such as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). New genetic and immune markers will help producers and animal health professionals to prevent and control swine viral diseases; they will provide basic data to use for design of alternate control and vaccine strategies, thus decreasing production costs and improving trade potential. As a result of this work, animal health companies will have alternatives for discovering biotherapeutics and vaccines for swine respiratory diseases; pig breeding companies will have new tools to identify disease-resistant stock. Overall this project will stimulate advances in pig health that may be of broad economic importance. Objective 1. Develop immunologic tools to evaluate swine immunity, including using immunological tools to enhance our understanding of swine immune system development [C4, PS4B], and using immunological tools to inform the design of novel innate immune intervention strategies to treat respiratory diseases of swine. [C2, PS2B] Objective 2. Elucidate host response associated with swine respiratory disease and protective immunity, including discovering genetic and biological determinants associated with swine respiratory disease susceptibility, tolerance, or resistance, and discovering genetic and biologic determinants associated with good responders to swine respiratory disease vaccines. [C4, PS4B]

Characterize swine immune proteins (cytokines, chemokines) and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to these proteins and their receptors, and to antigens that define swine cell subsets and activation markers (CD antigens). To speed progress on reagent development, collaborate with commercial partners for protein expression and mAb production. Coordinate ARS efforts with NIFA supported US UK Swine Toolkit progress. Once panels of mAbs reactive with swine targets are available, test them for specificity and identify epitope reactivities to help develop sandwich ELISAs and Bead Based Multiplex Assays (BBMA). Work with USDA ARS and NIFA leadership to establish a veterinary immune reagent repository for relevant hybridomas and cell lines from various livestock species as well as to provide an updated website highlighting the availability of these reagents. Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases heighten the need to use the expanded swine toolkit to facilitate veterinary and biomedical research. Complex immune interactions determine the efficacy of a pig's response to infection, vaccination and therapeutics. New tools developed through this project, and the US UK Swine Toolkit grant, will expand options for probing mechanisms involved in disease and vaccine responses. Continue to assess samples archived through the PRRS Host Genetics Consortium (PHGC) for protein and metabalome alterations that may be predictive of PRRS viral levels or weight gain changes at different time-points post infection. Expand efforts to use pig as an important biomedical model including tuberculosis (TB) research. For TB test whether vaccination in neonatal minipigs leads to the development of immune responses similar to those described in human infants. Results from these trials will allow study of infant TB and TB vaccine efficacy. address biomedical Following up on PHGC studies, as part of a USDA NIFA translational genomics grant, a more complex model, testing vaccination for PRRS followed by PRRSV and porcine circovirus (PCV) challenge [a PCV associated disease (PCVAD) model] was pursued. This approaches typical farm conditions and enables us to ask about the effectiveness of vaccination prior to PRRSV and PCV2 challenge. Additionally, data was collected on genetically defined pigs in true field trial conditions, providing data that is essential for transfer (and affirmation) of our disease genetic results to pig breeders. We expect that the combined models and genomic approaches will lead to identification of chromosomal regions, putative candidate genes and mechanisms involved in regulating pig responses to viral infections, vaccinations, and associated growth effects.For this ARS project we will evaluate the effect of anti-viral response pathways and biomarkers on vaccine and infection responses. We will use RNAseq analyses to provide a more complete picture and reveal details of regulatory mechanisms impacting pig responses to vaccination, viral infection, and differential growth effects. Our proposed studies will expand analyses of samples collected on the grant funded 4 vaccination/PCVAD trials and 6 field trials (Appendix). As we identify