Functional Genomics of Porcine Immunity to Enteric and Respiratory Disease Agents
The Murtaugh laboratory is investigating molecular mechanisms of disease resistance in swine with particular attention to persistent viral infections and enteric immunity. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) causes a prolonged acute, viremic infection of lung macrophages and a persistent infection of macrophages and dendritic cells in lymphoid tissues. Porcine Cirocovirus 2 (PCV2) is the cause of PCV associated disease, a problem of growing pigs. A better understanding of viral structure, viral growth, and the host response to these viruses at different time points during infection will allow identification of genes and proteins involved in the response to virus and help us to identify measures to allow for disease control. These researchers are planning to elucidate viral structure, growth, and the host response using whole genome viral analysis, host transcriptome analysis, and biochemical and mass spectrometry approaches. Identification of genes altered in expression under conditions of viral infection is expected to reveal mechanisms of cellular immunity, insights into viral evasion of immunity, and establishment of persistent infection. Identification of altered protein profiles in serum of infected animals will further illuminate host responses to infection without a requirement for pre‐existing knowledge. These approaches are valuable for understanding host‐pathogen interactions relevant to agricultural and wildlife species.
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