GENETIC AND IMMUNE STRATEGIES TO CONTROL MUCOSAL PATHOGENS OF SWINE
Project Number: 1265-32000-088-00
Start Date: May 18, 2009
End Date: Oct 30, 2011
This project addresses one of the most serious health issues of modern swine production facilities; the control of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) and porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2). Defining mechanisms of immunity to economically important viral pathogens will pinpoint key regulatory proteins to target. Genomic techniques will identify variations associated with infection, immune evasion, innate and adaptive immune responses, and disease susceptibility or resistance. We will focus on the following specific objectives: 1. Identify genetic markers associated with disease susceptibility and resistance to mucosal pathogens of economic importance; 2. Identify functional genetic variations that modulate the immune responses to swine mucosal pathogens; and 3. Determine the genetic profiles of “good responders” to swine vaccines.
To address these objectives we plan to: 1A. Identify genetic variations associated with disease susceptibility to PRRS virus; 1B. Determine whether polymorphisms of genes associated with mucosal immunity increase protective thresholds of pigs exposed to PRRS virus; 2A. Develop immunologic tools to enhance our understanding of swine immune system development and host responses to mucosal diseases; 2B. Identify and characterize functional pathways resulting in altered mucosal immune responses to PCV2 associated disease; and 3. Discover biomarkers that are correlates of mucosal protective immunity or dysfunctional immune responses to PRRS vaccines or PRRS virus infections.