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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Endemic Poultry Viral Diseases Research » Research » Research Project #441471

Research Project: Systems Biology Approaches to Develop Medical Countermeasures to Detect, Prevent, and Control Poultry Production Viral Diseases

Location: Endemic Poultry Viral Diseases Research

Project Number: 6040-32000-084-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 3, 2022
End Date: Jan 2, 2027

1. Elucidate host-pathogen interactions of avian reovirus and develop veterinary countermeasures to detect, prevent and control the poultry production viral disease. 1.1. Identify reovirus determinants of virulence associated with arthritis and tenosynovitis in poultry production. 1.2. Develop new diagnostic platforms for the early detection of avian reoviruses on poultry farms. 1.3. Develop new vaccine strategies to prevent and control avian reoviruses on poultry farms. 2. Elucidate host-pathogen interactions of infectious bursal disease virus and develop veterinary medical countermeasures to detect, prevent, and control the poultry production viral disease. 2.1. Apply systems biology approaches to characterize host-pathogen interactions associated with infectious bursal disease virus strain variation, immunosuppression, and pathogenesis. 2.2. Develop genomics and immune intervention strategies to prevent and control infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), including emerging very virulent and variant IBDV strains. 3. Elucidate host-pathogen interactions of polymicrobial infections in broiler chicken production.[C4, PS4B]. 3.1. Characterize immune responses to single or mixed infections with pathogens that are relevant to broiler production. (Auburn and EPVDRU). 3.2. Determine the pathological and physiological correlates of immunosuppression, including microbiota and metabolome, subsequent to single or mixed pathogen infection during broiler production. (Auburn and EPVDRU). 3.3. Evaluate control strategies, with an emphasis on providing protection across a wide variety of antigenically diverse pathogens. (Auburn and EPVDRU).

Avian reovirus (ARV) and infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) are economically important pathogens of poultry that are endemic in the U.S. and threaten poultry production. ARVs cause viral arthritis syndrome/tenosynovitis in young chickens and turkeys, but the full extent of clinical disease is unclear. IBDV-infected flocks have high mortality, poor feed conversion ratio, and decreased meat production. There are major knowledge gaps for both viruses with respect to tools for control and prevention, as well as a lack of basic knowledge of the viral pathogenicity and host immune response address these gaps, our research on ARV will focus upon 1) developing an ARV whole-genome sequence database and an antigenic cross-reactivity database to be used for antigenic cartography and vaccine development; 2) exploring the ability of ARVs to suppress the host antiviral innate immune response; and 3) exploring the use of herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) as delivery vectors for multivalent ARV sigma C antigen-based vaccines. For IBDV, we plan to 1) develop a reverse genetic system to investigate the role of IBDV virus protein 2 (VP2) gene in virulence determination; 2) create an IBDV disease/challenge model to study disease pathogenesis and vaccine protective efficacy; 3) investigate host innate immunity and genetic resistance to IBDV; and, finally, 4) develop NDV vectored in ovo dual vaccines against NDV and IBDV. The outcome of this project will include 1) basic knowledge of the viral pathogenicity and innate immunity against ARV and IBDV; 2) knowledge to guide producers in breeding IBD-resistant chicken lines; 3) disease models to assist in pathogenesis studies and vaccine evaluation; and 4) new ARV and IBDV vaccines to benefit the poultry meat and egg production industries and the American consumer.