Evaluation of antigen specific cell-mediated responses against viral infrections in chickens

Lead Research Organisation: The Pirbright Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED

Abstract

T cell responses may be an important contributing factor in genetic resistance to viral infections such as MDV, perhaps by preventing reactivation of MDV from the latent phase in resistant and not in susceptible chickens. We hypothesize that cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTL) and CD4 T cells (T helper cells) are induced in the course of viral infections and T cell responses are targeted towards infected host cells that express viral antigens. The proposed research project investigates host-pathogen interactions, particularly T cell-mediated immune response to viruses including MDV in chickens. In this project, we aim to identify T cell epitopes within MDV-encoded proteins and analyse the functional abilities of these MDV specific T cells. Moreover, we will assess whether viral infection expands regulatory cells in chickens and thus suppress anti-virus immune responses. In brief, the results from this proposal will provide tools to develop vaccine formulations targeting CD4 and CD8 T cells recognizing the viral antigens that induce a protective immunity against MDV.
 
Description Through the research funded on this grant, we have developed novel methods and assays for analyzing cell-mediated immune responses in chickens. These methods and assays helped us to identify T cell epitopes within Marek's Disease Virus, an important viral infections in chicken. The knowledge obtained from this project will help us design better vaccines against poultry viral infections. The information obtained from this project provide information on the role of nutrient on the function of immune system cells and their effects on immune responses to Marek's Disease.
Exploitation Route In this project, we developed methods which can be used to evaluate the efficacy of commercially available vaccines against Marek's Disease Virus (MDV) by studying antigen-specific T cell response to MDV antigens. Providing a balanced diet (such as Vitamin D) may improve the vaccine efficacy of vaccines and reduce the severity of the disease in endemic area.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Other

 
Description Dissecting the role of virus-specific T cells in providing protection against Marek's Disease Virus in chickens
Amount £491,996 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S01506X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2019 
End 08/2022
 
Description Newton Fund: The Researcher Links Travel Grants from British Council
Amount £35,400 (GBP)
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2016 
End 05/2017
 
Description Professor Shayan Sharif, University of Guelph, Canada 
Organisation University of Guelph
Department Department of Pathobiology
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration between my team and Professor Sharif lead to new finding in Avian immunology, specifically in understanding the effects of nutrients on antigen presenting cells and T cells of chicken. We took the lead in studying the effects of some nutrients (Vitamin D) on the function of chicken T cells, performed most of the experiments in our laboratory. Meanwhile, we participated in studying the effects of Vitamin D on antigen presenting cells of chicken by performing some key experiments because we had access to some specific reagents (monoclonal antibodies) recognizing molecules expressed on chicken antigen presenting cells.
Collaborator Contribution Professor Sharif team took the lead in studying the effects of Vitamin D on antigen presenting cells of chicken, and contributed to experimental plan for studying the effects on chicken T cells.
Impact Two publications in 2015 and 2016: 1. Nitish Boodhoo, Shayan Sharif, Shahriar Behboudi. 1a,25(OH)2 Vitamin D3 Modulates Avian T Lymphocyte Functions without Inducing CTL Unresponsiveness. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 24;11(2):e0150134 2. Bahram Shojadoost, Shahriar Behboudi, Villanueva AI, Jennifer Brisbin, Ali Ashkar, Shayan Sharif. Vitamin D3 modulates the function of chicken macrophages. Res. Vet. Sci. 2015 June, 100: 45-51
Start Year 2019
 
Description Diamond open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over 300 people visited our stand at the open day, in which we described the importance of our work for food security and public health. Children from all ages were involved and learned about viruses and played with the huge virus particle that we had produced. One of the major impact was that we described to several people why we work on some viruses that we do not have them in the UK, and the importance of the work for the UK and UK economy and public health was explained.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.diamond.ac.uk/Public/VisitUs.html
 
Description Public engagement organized at Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Set up a stand at the event, a museum at Oxford, and discussed and described research activities within the Institute with public. Set up demonstrations from some biological specimens and distributed leaflets and questionnaire.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description School visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Met and discussed A level students in small groups (3 students at the time) and discussed different aspects of my work as a scientist.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Surrey Open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Described the research activity of the Pirbright Institute for students from school, graduate and postgraduate students, and provided information on research facilities in the institute.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.surrey.ac.uk/opendays/vet