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ARS Home » Research » Research Project #442942

Research Project: Understanding Pathogenesis and Epidemiology for Controlling Foreign Animal Diseases

Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research

Project Number: 3022-32000-064-030-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Jun 1, 2026

Foreign Animal Diseases (FAD), inclusive of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV), African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV), Classical Swine Fever Virus (CSFV) and zoonotic / exotic strains of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) pose a severe economic threat to the U.S. livestock industry. Current control capabilities are limited due to less than ideal vaccines or gaps in knowledge regarding the virus- host interactions and disease ecology. Importantly, there is insufficient understanding of the immunological mechanisms mediating response to infection or vaccination of these FADs in livestock species. In addition to vaccination, other countermeasure strategies require knowledge of virus ecology and disease epidemiology, particularly for vector borne diseases, such as VSV. This research project will study virus-host interactions and apply this knowledge to enhance vaccine effectiveness, develop vaccines to provide better protection against FAD. Specific Objectives Include: 1. Study pathogenesis and immune mechanisms of FAD in livestock species. 2. Carry out research on mechanisms of immune enhancement such as adjuvants, immune-modulators and routes of delivery to enhance vaccine efficacy and broaden the immune response. 3. Conduct studies to understand how virus – host interactions at the molecular level and study how this knowledge can be used to break the cycle disease transmission. 4. Continue to build technical capacity to individuals that could expand their expertise on foreign animal diseases, and potentially transition to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

1. The project will take advantage of ongoing virus-host interactions and vaccine studies on FAD using models developed at ARS, PIADC and KSU to study mechanisms of disease and vaccine induced protection. 2. Molecular techniques used to understand virus – host interactions and immune enhancement will be shared in research coordinated between KSU and ARS, PIADC. 3. KSU personnel such as research assistant faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will be identified to work on these objectives at KSU, NBAF and ARS, PIADC as necessary. 4. Next generation sequencing and sequence analysis of host and viral genes regulating pathogenesis will be performed at PIADC, NBAF and KSU.