Location: Poultry Research
Project Number: 6064-13000-014-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Dec 21, 2021
End Date: Dec 20, 2026
1. Use proteomics, genomics, and systems biology approaches to identify molecular determinants of pathogenesis, strain variation, and tissue tropism of different E. coli strains. 2. Identify immunological targets that will confer cross-protection against prevalent E. coli strains in poultry production and develop vaccine platforms that are effective in very young birds, provide cross- protection, and can be easily administered. 2.a. Identify genetic determinants for antigenicity and pathogenicity of E. coli through comparative genomics and analyses. 2.b. Identification of immunological targets will provide a cross protection against different strains of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC). 2.c. Assess in ovo vaccination technology for delivery of live attenuated APEC vaccines. 3. Develop systems-level capabilities to evaluate the effects of commercial-scale, poultry management practices on animal health and production; microbial ecology, development of antimicrobial resistance and bacterial pathogen transmission to develop mitigation strategies. 3.a.1. Evaluate performance of three bio-aerosol samplers for collecting airborne E. coli attached to dust particles from poultry production environments. 3.a.2. Quantify concentration and size distribution of airborne E. coli in representative US broiler and layer houses. 3.a.3. Evaluate electrostatic particle ionization (EPI) and ultraviolet (UV) radiation to reduce airborne E. coli. 3.b.1. Evaluate effects of litter amendment application rate on E. coli populations in broiler litter. 3.b.2. Assess E. coli populations and antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) residue concentrations in biochar-treated and untreated litter (live study). 3.b.3. Evaluate effects of litter management [top-dressed (TD) vs non-top-dressed] and bedding type (pine vs switchgrass) on litter E. coli populations over successive flocks.
Proteomic, genomic, and systems biology approaches will be applied to identify molecular determinants of pathogenesis, strain variation, and tissue tropism of different E. coli strains. The E. coli strains analyzed will be isolated from varying diseased poultry flocks and strain genomic & proteomic characteristics and isolate epidemiological factors will be applied model development for greater understanding of pathogenic E. coli and associated disease. To further protect against pathogenic E. coli, immunological targets will be identified that will confer cross-protection against prevalent E. coli strains in poultry production. The genomic and plasmid sequences of various E. coli strains will be aligned, and antigenic factors will be determined. Immunological targets will be identified and assessed via challenge models that provide cross-protection against pathogenic E. coli. In addition, vaccination platforms that are effective in very young birds, provide cross-protection, and can be easily administered will be developed. In ovo technologies will be assessed for delivery of protective vaccines and associated protocols developed. To increase the understanding of environmental E. coli and evaluate risks to poultry and associated antimicrobial resistance, studies will evaluate airborne E. coli associated with dust particles and E. coli linked to poultry litter. Further, mitigation means will be assessed for their impact on environmental E. coli populations.