Publications

The Pirbright Institute publication directory contains details of selected publications written by our researchers.

There were a total of 2294 results for your search.

Abstract

Truck trap collections of Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were made during 2 yr of sampling from 2008 to 2009 at a farm site in southern England. Samples were collected from 810 sample runs carried out over 52 d and contained 7,095 Culicoides of which more than half (50.3%) were identified as Culicoides obsoletus Meigen by using a multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay. Other commonly encountered species included Culicoides scoticus Downes & Kettle (14.7% of total Culicoides caught), Culicoides dewulfi Goetghebuer (3.7%), and Culicoides chiopterus Meigen (4.2%). The activity rates of these species were examined with regard to both meteorological factors (light intensity, humidity, temperature, and wind speed and direction) and other potentially contributing variables (lunar phase and brightness, sunset time, and year) by using generalized linear models. All the species examined were collected in greater abundance at sunset, although the relationship between underlying light intensity and numbers was less pronounced in C. dewulfi and C. chiopterus. Collections of Culicoides were reduced at temperatures above 21 degrees C and were inversely related to wind speed. Variation between species was recorded, however, in response to wind direction: C. dewulfi and C. chiopterus were associated with prevailing winds passing through fields containing livestock, whereas C. obsoletus and C. scoticus demonstrated no such relationship. A male: female ratio of 1: 3.56 was observed in catches, and male populations were protandrous. These results are discussed with reference both to the ecology of these species and methods currently used to predict adult Culicoides movement and abundance in Europe.

Abstract

Foot and mouth disease virus causes a livestock disease of significant global socio-economic importance. Advances in its control and eradication depend critically on improvements in vaccine efficacy, which can be best achieved by better understanding the complex within-host immunodynamic response to inoculation. We present a detailed and empirically parametrised dynamical mathematical model of the hypothesised immune response in cattle, and explore its behaviour with reference to a variety of experimental observations relating to foot and mouth immunology. The model system is able to qualitatively account for the observed responses during in-vivo experiments, and we use it to gain insight into the incompletely understood effect of single and repeat inoculations of differing dosage using vaccine formulations of different structural stability.

Abstract

Successful control of livestock diseases requires an understanding of how they spread amongst animals and between premises. Mathematical models can offer important insight into the dynamics of disease, especially when built upon experimental and/or field data. Here the dynamics of a range of epidemiological models are explored in order to determine which models perform best in capturing real-world heterogeneities at sufficient resolution. individual based network models are considered together with one- and two-class compartmental models, for which the final epidemic size is calculated as a function of the probability of disease transmission occurring during a given physical contact between two individuals. For numerical results the special cases of a viral disease with a fast recovery rate (foot-and-mouth disease) and a bacterial disease with a slow recovery rate (brucellosis) amongst sheep are considered. Quantitative results from observational studies of physical contact amongst domestic sheep are applied and results from the differently structured flocks (ewes with newborn lambs, ewes with nearly weaned lambs and ewes only) compared. These indicate that the breeding cycle leads to significant changes in the expected basic reproduction ratio of diseases. The observed heterogeneity of contacts amongst animals is best captured by full network simulations, although simple compartmental models describe the key features of an outbreak but, as expected, often overestimate the speed of an outbreak. Here the weights of contacts are heterogeneous, with many low weight links. However, due to the well-connected nature of the networks, this has little effect and differences between models remain small. These results indicate that simple compartmental models can be a useful tool for modelling real-world flocks; their applicability will be greater still for more homogeneously mixed livestock, which could be promoted by higher intensity farming practices.

Abstract

We have characterized the organization, complexity, and expression of the porcine (Sus scrofa domestica) immunoglobulin lambda (IGL) light chain locus, which accounts for about half of antibody light chain usage in swine, yet is nearly totally unknown. Twenty-two IGL variable (IGLV) genes were identified that belong to seven subgroups. Nine genes appear to be functional. Eight possess stop codons, frameshifts, or both, and one is missing the V-EXON. Two additional genes are missing an essential cysteine residue and are classified as ORF (open reading frame). The IGLV genes are organized in two distinct clusters, a constant (C)-proximal cluster dominated by genes similar to the human IGLV3 subgroup, and a C-distal cluster dominated by genes most similar to the human IGLV8 and IGLV5 subgroups. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the porcine IGLV8 subgroup genes have recently expanded, suggesting a particularly effective role in immunity to porcine-specific pathogens. Moreover, expression of IGLV genes is nearly exclusively restricted to the IGLV3 and IGLV8 genes. The constant locus comprises three tandem cassettes comprised of a joining (IGLJ) gene and a constant (IGLC) gene, whereas a fourth downstream IGLJ gene has no corresponding associated IGLC gene. Comparison of individual BACs generated from the same individual revealed polymorphisms in IGLC2 and several IGLV genes, indicating that allelic variation in IGLV further expands the porcine antibody light chain repertoire.

Abstract

Immunoglobulin (IG) gene rearrangement and expression are central to disease resistance and health maintenance in animals. The IG kappa (IGK) locus in swine (Sus scrofa domestica) contributes to approximately half of all antibody molecules, in contrast to many other Cetartiodactyla, whose members provide the majority of human dietary protein and in which kappa locus utilization is limited. The porcine IGK variable locus is 27.9 kb upstream of five IG kappa J genes (IGKJ) which are separated from a single constant gene (IGKC) by 2.8 kb. Fourteen variable genes (IGKV) were identified, of which nine are functional and two are open reading frame (ORF). Of the three pseudogenes, IGKV3-1 contains a frameshift and multiple stop codons, IGKV7-2 contains multiple stop codons, and IGKV2-5 is missing exon 2. The nine functional IGKV genes are phylogenetically related to either the human IGKV1 or IGKV2 subgroups. IGKV2 subgroup genes were found to be dominantly expressed. Polymorphisms were identified on overlapping BACs derived from the same individual such that 11 genes contain amino acid differences. The most striking allelic differences are present in IGKV2 genes, which contain as many as 16 amino acid changes between alleles, the majority of which are in complementarity determining region (CDR) 1. In addition, many IGKV2 CDR1 are shared between genes but not between alleles, suggesting extensive diversification of this locus through gene conversion.
Seago J, Jackson T, Doel C, Fry E, Stuart D, Harmsen M M, Charleston B, Juleff N (2012)

Characterization of epitope-tagged foot-and-mouth disease virus

Journal of General Virology 93, 2371-2381

Abstract

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious and economically devastating disease of cloven-hoofed animals with an almost-worldwide distribution. Conventional FMD vaccines consisting of chemically inactivated viruses have aided in the eradication of FMD from Europe and remain the main tool for control in endemic countries. Although significant steps have been made to improve the quality of vaccines, such as improved methods of antigen concentration and purification, manufacturing processes are technically demanding and expensive. Consequently, there is large variation in the quality of vaccines distributed in FMD-endemic countries compared with those manufactured for emergency use in FMD-free countries. Here, we have used reverse genetics to introduce haemagglutinin (HA) and FLAG tags into the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) capsid. HA- and FLAG-tagged FMDVs were infectious, with a plaque morphology similar to the non-tagged parental infectious copy virus and the field virus. The tagged viruses utilized integrin-mediated cell entry and retained the tag epitopes over serial passages. In addition, infectious HA- and FLAG-tagged FMDVs were readily purified from small-scale cultures using commercial antibodies. Tagged FMDV offers a feasible alternative to the current methods of vaccine concentration and purification, a potential to develop FMD vaccine conjugates and a unique tool for FMDV research.

Abstract

Biting midges of the genus Forcipomyia (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) have recently been implicated as vectors of kinetoplastid parasites in the Leishmania enrietti complex. This study assesses susceptibility of one of the few successfully colonized Ceratopogonidae, Culicoides nubeculosus Meigen, to infection with Leishmania parasites infecting humans. While Leishmania infantum initially developed in the midgut of C. nubeculosus until 2 d postfeeding, parasite populations on day 3 were considerably reduced. Despite this, a polymerase chain reaction-based assay continued to indicate presence of L. infantum for up to 7 d after the bloodmeal. These findings are discussed within the wider context of implicating arthropods as vectors of Leishmania and it is suggested that conventional polymerase chain reaction use in vector-competence studies should be accompanied by direct microscopical observations.
Fowler V, Robinson L, Bankowski B, Cox S, Parida S, Lawlor C, Gibson D, O'Brien F, Ellefsen B, Hannaman D, Takamatsu H H, Barnett P V (2012)

A DNA vaccination regime including protein boost and electroporation protects cattle against foot-and-mouth disease

Antiviral Research 94 (1), 25-34

Abstract

Protection against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) using DNA technology has been documented for sheep and pigs but not for the highly susceptible species of cattle. Twenty-five Holstein Friesian cross-bred cattle were vaccinated twice, 21 days apart, with a DNA vaccine containing the capsid coding region (P1) along with the non-structural proteins 2A, 3C and 3D (pcDNA3.1/P1-2A3C3D) of O-1 Kaufbeuren alone or coated onto PLG (D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) microparticles. In some pcDNA3.1/P1-2A3C3D was also combined with an adjuvant plasmid expressing bovine granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). DNA vaccinations were administered intramuscularly with, or without, the use of electroporation and at 42 days post primary vaccination cattle received a protein boost of 146S FMD virus (FMDV) antigen and non-structural protein 3D. For comparison, four cattle were vaccinated with a conventional FMD vaccine and two more included as unvaccinated controls. Apart from those immunised with PLC microparticles all cattle were challenged with 10(5) TCID50 cattle adapted O-1 Lausanne FMDV virus at day 93 post primary vaccination. All DNA vaccinated cattle regardless of regime developed good humoral and cell mediated responses prior to challenge. The best overall virus neutralising antibody, IFN-gamma and clinical protection (75%) were seen in the cattle whereby the DNA was delivered by electroporation. In contrast, only 25% of cattle vaccinated with the DNA vaccine without electroporation were clinically protected. The addition of GM-CSF in combination with electroporation further improved the efficacy of the vaccine, as demonstrated from the reduction of clinical disease and virus excretions in nasal swabs. We thus demonstrate for the first time that cattle can be clinically protected against FMDV challenge following a DNA prime-protein boost strategy, and particularly when DNA vaccine is combined with GM-CSF and delivered by electroporation.

Abstract

DNA vaccines are, in principle, the simplest yet most versatile methods of inducing protective humoral and cellular immune responses. Research involving this type of vaccine against veterinary diseases began in the early 1990s and has since seen the evaluation of more than 30 important viral pathogens, including the economically important foot-and-mouth disease. With the demonstration that DNA vaccines protect against foot-and-mouth disease in sheep and pigs, and the advantages these DNA vaccines have over the conventional formulations, this approach may provide a better solution to the control of this disease. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of DNA vaccination strategies for foot-and-mouth disease reported in the literature, in which we highlight the studies that have reported protection in the key target species.
Fraile L, Crisci E, Cordoba L, Navarro M A, Osada J, Montoya M (2012)

Immunomodulatory properties of Beta-sitosterol in pig immune responses

International Immunopharmacology 13 (3), 316-321

Abstract

The ability to control an immune response for the benefit and production efficiency of animals is the objective of immunomodulation in food-producing animals; substances that exert this control are called immunomodulators. A Spanish product (Inmunicin MAYMO(R)), based on food plant phytosterols, is being commercialized as complementary feed. The main component of this product is Beta-sitosterol (BSS). BSS and its glycoside (BSSG) have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-neoplasic, anti-pyretic and immune-modulating activity demonstrated by in vitro and in vivo experiments. The objective of the present study was to characterize the effect of BSS on the pig immune system using in vitro cell cultures first and to elucidate whether BSS possesses any in vivo activity in fattener pigs after vaccination with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) modified life vaccine (MLV). Firstly, our in vitro results showed that BSS increased viable peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) numbers and it activated swine dendritic cells (DCs) in culture. Secondly, pigs treated with phytosterols prior to vaccination with PRRSV-MLV vaccine exhibited some changes in immunological parameters at different times post-vaccination, such as the proliferation ability of PBMC after phytohemaglutinin stimulation and increased apolipoprotein A1 plasma concentration which may contribute to enhance PRRSV vaccine response. In conclusion, the data in this report show that BSS can be considered an immunomodulator in pigs.

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