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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Research Project #441680

Research Project: Immune and Genomic Determinants of Host Responses Associated with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Infections

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-32000-117-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 31, 2021
End Date: Oct 30, 2026

Objective 1: Develop immunologic tools to evaluate swine immunity. Sub-objective 1.A: Develop immunological assays and validate their use for assessing host immune responses to infectious diseases and vaccination. Sub-objective 1.B: Use immunological tools to inform the design of novel innate immune intervention strategies to treat respiratory diseases of swine. Objective 2: Elucidate immune and genomic determinants of host responses associated with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection. Sub-objective 2.A: Discover genetic and biological determinants associated with fetal susceptibility, resilience, or resistance to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. Sub-objective 2.B: Discover genetic and biological determinants associated with good responders to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome vaccines.

This project will produce new reagents for analyses of swine immunity. This will include characterization of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) reactive with swine cytokines and chemokines and development of assays that quantify their reactivity. These efforts will be coupled with NIFA grant supported Swine Toolkit efforts. Once characterized commercial access to these mAbs will be coordinated through ARS Technology Transfer Office. Basic studies will be expanded by establishing molecular tools to evaluate gene expression using NanoString Technologies, with codesets developed to explore relative importance of specific tissues and unique cell subsets in disease responses and pathogen resistance. These tools will help to identify alternate biomarkers for risk analyses to assess the impact of respiratory diseases and vaccine efficacy. This project will apply the use of these innovative, next-generation, genomic, transcriptomic, and immunologic techniques to address Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), focusing on our unique sample resources collected via the PRRS Host Genetics Consortium and the Canadian Pregnant Gilt Model projects. We will evaluate the influence of host genetics on antiviral response pathways and will aim to identify critical biomarkers of protective vaccine and infection responses. We will use RNAseq data analyses to provide a more complete picture and reveal details of regulatory mechanisms impacting pig responses to vaccination, viral infection, and differential growth effects. Advanced bioinformatics will be combined with new molecular studies, as well as previously collected genotypic and phenotypic data, to identify pathways and biomarkers associated with protective immune responses to respiratory and reproductive diseases that cause significant losses to the pork industry. This project will provide alternate resources for improved respiratory disease control and elimination strategies. Overall, our project will inform vaccine evaluation and virus control strategies, identify disease-resistant pigs, and stimulate advances that may be of broad economic importance to pig breeders and the animal health industry.