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Immune function in health and african swine fever virus infected pigs - SE1511

The current alarming increase in the frequency and severity of outbreaks of African Swine Fever virus in Africa, and continued incidence of sporadic cases throughout Western Europe, coupled with a lack of effective vaccine, means that ASFV remains a major threat to the UK pig industry. This project aims to provide the knowledge of the porcine immune system necessary for the rational design of effective vaccines against ASFV. The work will also be applicable to the design of vaccines against other important pathogens representing threats to the British pig industry.

This work extends the previous project (SE1506) which characterised sub-populations of porcine lymphocytes, and demonstrated that the protectiive cellular immune response to ASFV was dependent on CD8 positive T-cells. This proposal continues our search for proteins encoded by the virus are recognised by these T-cells. We will also further define the sub populations of porcine lymphocytes that respond to ASFV during infection. Our work under the previous projcet has shown that the circulation of pigs contains unexpectedly high levels of natural killer (NK)-like cells. These cells are important fot he initiation of innate and acquired immune responses to infection. Since ASF is an acute disease where innate responses to the virus are likely to play a key role in determining the outcome of infection, it is important for us to know how these cells repsond during the infection of pigs with ASFV.

This work will advance our understanding of mechanisms of cellular immunity in the pig, particulrly in relation to viral infection. An understanding these parameters of both innate (NK) and acquired (T-cell) immunity will be important during the design of vaccines against ASFV. This will not only imporve animal welfare by reducing the threat of widespread mortality in the commercial pig industry in the UK, but also maintain wuthin the UK and internationally respected scientific program that can act on behalf of, and respond to, the requirements of MAFF.
01- Identification of ASFV encoded proteins recognised by porcine T-cells
02- Identification of MHC peptide anchor motifs
03- Phenotypic characterisation of CD8 positive T-cell populations
04- Generation of ASFV specific MHC class 1 tetramers.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Immune function in health and African Swine Fever Virus infected pigs   (3904k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2006

Cost: £587,293
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Institute for Animal Health (BBSRC)
African Swine Fever              
Animal Diseases              
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health