Enhancing food safety & animal welfare via UK-US collaboration

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: The Roslin Institute

Abstract

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Description This US-UK partnering award started in autumn 2014. A meeting between The Roslin Institute team and collaborators at Texas Tech University, Texas A&M, Kansas State University and Zoetis was held at Zoetis HQ in Kalamazoo 8-9 October 2014 and has been followed by regular video conference and E-mail exchanges. This has initiated novel lines of collaboration related to an ongoing BBSRC- and Zoetis-funded project (BB/K015524/1), including the supply of research materials, staff exchanges and the joint development of a novel method to follow the fate of multiple Salmonella serovars during mixed infections (see Research Tools).
Exploitation Route As a partnering award with no income for research per se, findings derive from related projects (e.g. BB/K015524/1) and potential exploitation is reported in the relevant submissions.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description The award supports travel and research exchanges between the Roslin Institute and collaborators in the US (primarily at Texas Tech University and USDA). One major meeting of teams was held in the US in October 2014 sponsored by Zoetis linked to interests in salomonellosis in cattle (inc. via BB/015524/1). There have been regular video conferences and E-mail exchanges since and Roslin hosted a visiting scientist from TTU 12-22 January 2016. Impact is mostly in the form of knowledge exchange, industry interaction and training. Non-academic impact mostly resides in the involvement of Zoetis and associated representatives of the US beef industry.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
 
Title Strategy for quantifying individual bacterial strains during mixed infections 
Description We devised a novel strategy to follow the fate of individual bacterial strains during mixed infections. Specifically, we wished to follow the fate of multiple Salmonella enterica serovars during colonisation of the bovine host. These are indistinguishable by culture, and while they can be specifically detected by serology, quantification of numbers of each serovar during mixed infection would involve analysis of many hundreds or thousands of individual colonies. We devised a method based on massively-parallel sequencing of a polymorphic allele (rpoB), whereby sequence reads can be used to identify the strain present (based on single nucleotide polymorphisms specific to each strain) and the number of sequence reads can be taken as a measure of the abundance of the cognate strain. Using this method we were able to simultaneously define the fate of 12 different S. enterica strains during infection of cattle, including as they colonised the gut over time and spread from the gut to the lymphatic system and other tissues. This 3R approach should allow phenotypes to be derived with reduced use of animals in experiments and could, for example, be used to see if vaccine-induced responses are effective in control of all the different members of a bacterial population present - in this case toward a pan-serovar cross-protective vaccine. A manuscript reporting the tool and our findings is in preparation at the time of writing. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Too early as only validated toward the end of 2016. 
 
Description Collaboration with Kansas State University 
Organisation Kansas State University
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Kansas State University are partners in this BBSRC US-UK Partnering Award related to Salmonella and E. coli infections in food-producing animals.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of expertise & materials.
Impact None yet from this specific partner.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Collaboration with Texas Tech University 
Organisation Texas Tech University
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Partner in this BBSRC US-UK Partnering Award related to Salmonella and E. coli infections in food-producing animals.
Collaborator Contribution We hosted a visiting postdoctoral research fellow (Marie Bugarel from TTU) in 2015 and provided training in methods to study the basis of Salmonella virulence (inc. mutagenesis, cell-based assays & in vivo models).
Impact A manuscript relating to a novel method to follow the fate of Salmonella enterica serovars during mixed infections is in preparation at the time of writing. This arose, in part, from the collaboration funded by this partnering award (see tools), with resources from another BBSRC- and Zoetis-funded project (BB/K015524/1).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture 
Organisation U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA
Country United States of America 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution USDA are partners in this BBSRC US-UK Partnering Award related to Salmonella and E. coli infections in food-producing animals. We have shared expertise, ideas & materials. A co-Investigator at the Roslin Institute (Professor John Hopkins) visited USDA researchers to transfer his expertise in surgical cannulation of lymphatic vessels, to allow the team to gain access to Salmonella and immune cells as they migrate from the intestines of cattle.
Collaborator Contribution Shared expertise, ideas & materials.
Impact Not at this stage.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Collaboration with Zoetis 
Organisation Zoetis
Country United States of America 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The project was a BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award with Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health) to understand the role of bacterial and host factors in colonisation of the bovine lymphatic system by Salmonella. We analysed the nature and consequences of Salmonella interactions with immune cells in the gut and lymphatic system of cattle, assigned phenotypes to thousands of Salmonella genes during lymph node colonisation and analysed the relative ability of different Salmonella serotypes to enter and persist in the lymphatic system using a novel strain tracking method. The data aid the design of strategies to control Salmonella in cattle, both to benefit bovine health and reduce the impact of zoonotic infections.
Collaborator Contribution Zoetis provided $250 toward project costs and also hosted meetings of a Salmonella Research Cluster that also involved academics at Texas Tech University, Kansas State University and the US Department of Agriculture. In turn this helped to form the basis of a BBSRC US-UK Partnering Award (BB/L026732/1).
Impact See key findings.
Start Year 2012