APPLICATION OF BIOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES TO THE DIAGNOSIS AND CONTROL OF AVIAN INFLUENZA AND OTHER EMERGING POULTRY PATHOGENS
Location: Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit
Project Number: 6612-32000-048-00
Start Date: Dec 18, 2006
End Date: Oct 10, 2011
The project plan for this CRIS project has four general objectives that are designed to increase our basic understanding of avian influenza virus (AIV) and to develop improved control measures. The specific objectives are listed below.
1. Identify determinants of virulence, tissue tropism and host range of AIV.
2. Develop vaccines that effectively stop outbreaks, allow differentiation from natural infection and can be administered in a cost effective manner.
3. Improve existing diagnostic tests and develop new diagnostic tests that are rapid, sensitive, and improve the detection of avian influenza.
4. Use molecular epidemiologic techniques and viral genomics to understand virus transmission and spread of AI outbreaks in poultry and wild birds.
A multidisciplinary approach will be used to study avian influenza virus (AIV) in poultry with particular emphasis on highly pathogenic avian influenza. The use of molecular biological techniques including RT-PCR, cloning, and sequencing will be used for molecular epidemiology, development of an influenza sequence database, and the use of reverse genetics to engineer influenza viruses to examine an individual viral genes role in virulence. For studying the pathogenesis of influenza, gross and clinical pathology, histology, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative RT-PCR will be used to examine the effect of infection with different viral strains and protection in vaccine trials. Cellular biology, immunology, and host genetics will be used to determine the role of host resistance to influenza infection. Improved diagnostic tests, emphasizing rapid detection, will be developed. Continued surveillance of wild bird isolates will continue with collaborators from several different institutions. These efforts should provide better control measures. Dates for latest lab inspection by APHIS: BSL-2 1/29/2008 and BSL-3AG 5/15/2007.