Location: Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases Research
Project Number: 3020-32000-020-003-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 1, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2023
The overall aim of the research is to exploit Culicoides biting midge proteins to enhance mammalian immune responses to killed bluetongue virus vaccines. The specific objectives of this cooperative agreement are to 1) identify Culicoides cellular proteins which elicit immune responses in a murine model, 2) identify proteins of interest by mass spec, 3) identify and characterize specific antigenicity and inflammatory responses to key target proteins, and 4) evaluate target proteins as additives for killed BTV vaccines.
Ongoing research by ARS aims to understand vector-enhanced arboviral infection and immune responses to the biting midge, Culicoides sonorensis, an important agricultural pest that transmits economically important orbiviruses such as bluetongue virus and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus. Improvements in vaccines are needed, especially for killed virus vaccines, which are the most economical vaccine platform and fastest to produce in the face of an outbreak. This agreement will facilitate determining the role vector proteins play in the ability of mammals to immunologically respond to orbiviruses and mount a protective immune response.