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Integration of Functional Genomics and Immunology and Their Application to Infectious Disease in Rumminants

University of Edinburgh
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Recent disease outbreaks in the UK livestock industry have highlighted limitations in current control measures. New molecular technologies offer potential for development of diagnostics and vaccines, but progress has been hampered by a lack of understanding of the immunology of many of the target diseases. Advances in functional genomics, coupled with an expanding set of immunological tools, have created new opportunities to dissect host responses in ruminants at a level of detail hitherto considered impossible.

We bring together international expertise in functional genomics and associated bioinformatics and will establish an integrated programme of research and training on the immunology of endemic infectious diseases in ruminants using these modern research tools.

The programme will provide veterinary undergraduates with insights into the contributions that research makes to the diagnosis, surveillance and control of infectious diseases of livestock and the maintenance of national biosecurity.

It will train a cohort of veterinary scientists in research utilising molecular and cell biological approaches and functional genomics to understand disease pathogenesis and host immunity.

It will strengthen links between basic researchers and those involved in investigation and surveillance of disease in the field, in order to enhance the capacity for clinical application of the research findings.

It will ensure that the resources and expertise developed in functional genomics are disseminated nationally to researchers investigating infectious diseases of livestock.

More information
This is a study examining between animal and between farm transmission which will provide information on the role of the host behaviour, management and genetics in the transmission of VTEC. Research is being done to look at the ecology and the role of the verocytotoxin encoding bacteriophages. VTRI project VT0102 is researching the application of immunological and genomics tools to target VTEC infections in cattle. This project aims to investigate tissue responses, animal/age susceptibility and immune modulation by bacterial factors and to apply the knowledge gained towards vaccine design.

Funding Source
Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Project number
Food Defense and Integrity
Bacterial Pathogens