The Ministry of Science and Innovation finances 6 CReSA's projects

Bovine tuberculosis, swine influenza, bovine neosporosis, Haemophilus parasuis, African swine fever virus and porcine microRNAs in viral infections are the topics of the new projects that the Ministry of Science and Innovation has decided to finance.

  • Characterization of the immunological mechanisms involved in protection against the virus of African swine fever (ASFV) and development of vaccines against the virus. Fernando Rodríguez.The recent reintroduction of the African swine fever in Europe from Eastern Africa has opened new concerns about the risk. The situation becomes aggravated by the fact there is no vaccine available against ASFV.
    We aim to accomplish two main objectives within our project: the exhaustive characterization of ASFV antigens aiming to optimize the final vaccine formulation; and to characterize the immunological mechanisms involved in protection against ASFV.

  • Spatial Epidemiology of Bovine Tuberculosis in domestic animals in Spain: study of persistent and new infections. Evaluation of surveillance. Alberto Allepuz. BTB persists in the herds without a clear knowledge about the epidemiologic circumstances that lead to the reintroduction or to the persistence of the infection. The aim of this project is to obtain an understanding of the epidemiology of BTB by the analysis of the circumstances that make its eradication difficult.
    First of all, the space-time analysis of the disease will allow the identification of zones of high BTB risk. Secondly, a study of the possible causes of appearance of new positive farms and of the persistence of the positive ones will be performed. Finally, possible alternative strategies to the current surveillance system implemented in Spain will be evaluated.

  • Neosporosis: humoral and cellular immune response in pregnancies purebred and crossbred dairy cows chronically infected during pregnancy. Sonia Almeria de la Merced. Previous studies have confirmed the high incidence of abortions associated with Neospora caninum in cattle. Our group has shown that insemination using semen from beef reduces the risk of abortion in dairy cows seropositive to N. caninum. This project will assess the differences in humoral and cellular immune response in cattle experimentally infected maternal and inseminated with semen from Friesian and Limousin semen, in which these issues have not been studied previously. This will help understand the mechanisms involved in differences in susceptibility to abortion associated with N. caninum.

  • Characterization of immune responses induced by strains of swine influenza viruses circulating in Spain. Development of vaccines based on chimeric VLPs. Maria Montoya. The project is based on chimeric virus-like particles (VLPs) derived from calicivirus incorporating immunogenic epitopes from Swine influenza virus. The objectives of this project are studying the immunological mechanisms against SIV and the interaction of different isolates of SIV with cells from the porcine immune system (i.e. dendritic cells). Identifying and characterizing new SIV antigenic epitopes and improving the potential of RHDV VLPs as platforms for antigen delivery.

  • MicroRNAs in viral infections in pigs: functional analysis and implications in viral pathogenesis. José Ignacio Núñez. In this project we used three DNA virus affecting swine: the Aujeszky's disease (ADV) as a prototype virus eradication phase in Spain, the porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infection prototype leukosis and the African swine fever (ASFV), representing an exotic infection in our country. This will provide information to better understand the virus-cell interaction and identify potential therapeutic targets and/or diagnostic biomarkers.

  • Selection of candidate vaccines to block the initial steps of infection by Haemophilus parasuis. Virginia Aragón. The need for an effective vaccine for the initial steps of infection of Haemophilus parasuis is clear if we want to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production. This has to completely prevent the onset of the disease, and therefore, should interfere in the infectious process as soon as possible. The overall objective of this project is to identify molecules with ability to block the initial steps of infection by virulent strains of H. parasuis included in the vaccine.

To contact the principal investigators of the projects:

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