[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salmonella hold considerable promise as vaccine delivery vectors for heterologous antigens in chickens. Such vaccines have the potential additional benefit of also controlling Salmonella infection in immunized birds. As a way of selecting attenuated strains with optimal immunogenic potential as antigen delivery vectors, this study screened 20 novel Salmonella Typhimurium vaccine strains, differing in mutations associated with delayed antigen synthesis and delayed attenuation, for their efficacy in controlling colonization by virulent Salmonella Typhimurium, as well as for their persistence in the intestine and the spleen. Marked differences were observed between strains in these characteristics, which provide the basis for selection for further study as vaccine vectors.
Canadian journal of veterinary research = Revue canadienne de recherche vétérinaire 01/2014; 78(1):23-30. · 1.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are evolutionarily conserved pattern recognition receptors that mediate host responses to pathogens. To date, at least 10 different TLRs have been identified in chickens including TLR2, which binds lipopeptides and other similar ligands such as Pam3CSK4, TLR3, which binds double stranded RNA as well as synthetic molecules such as poly I:C, TLR4, which binds lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and TLR21 which binds CpG DNA motifs. In mammals, TLRs have been detected on CD4+ T cells, where they mediate cellular survival, proliferation and the production of cytokines. However, the TLR-mediated responses in chicken CD4+ T cells remain to be determined. As such, the objective of the present study was to elucidate the kinetics of cytokine response to several different TLR ligands in chicken CD4+ T cells. RESULTS: The results suggest that these cells express TLRs 2, 3, 4 and 21 at the transcript level, and treatment with ligands for these TLRs significantly influenced the expression of the cytokines interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin (IL)-17, but not IL-4, IL-10 and IL-13. Specifically, treatment with Pam3CSK4, poly I:C and LPS up-regulated IFN-gamma transcripts, while CpG ODN significantly down-regulated them. In contrast, at least one dose of each of the TLR ligands, except for Pam3CSK4, significantly down-regulated IL-17 transcripts. CONCLUSION: Chicken CD4+ T cells respond to ligands for TLRs 2, 3, 4 and 21 by up-regulating or down-regulating cytokine transcripts. Future studies may consider exploring how these TLR ligands may modulate other effector functions in chicken CD4+ T cells, as well as in other T cell subsets such as CD8+ T cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: There is poor understanding of most aspects of Clostridium perfringens type A as a possible cause of neonatal diarrhea in piglets, and the prevalence and types of C. perfringens present on Ontario swine farms is unknown. To study the prevalence of fecal C. perfringens and selected toxin genes, 48 Ontario swine farms were visited between August 2010 and May 2011, and 354 fecal samples were collected from suckling pigs, lactating sows, weanling pigs, grower-finisher pigs, and gestating sows, as well as from manure pits. The fecal samples were cultured quantitatively, and toxin genes were detected by real-time multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RESULTS: In mixed multivariable linear analysis, log10 C. perfringens in fecal samples from suckling pigs were higher than that of weanling pigs, grower-finisher pigs, and manure pit samples (P <0.05). In mixed multivariable logistic analysis, the C. perfringens isolates recovered from lactating sows (OR = 0.069, P <0.001), gestating sows (OR = 0.020, P <0.001), grower-finishers (OR = 0.017, P <0.001), and manure pits (OR = 0.11, P <0.001) were less likely to be positive for the consensus beta2 toxin gene cpb2 compared to the isolates from suckling pigs. The prevalence of cpb2 in the isolates recovered from weanlings did not differ significantly from suckling pigs. C. perfringens isolates that were positive for cpb2 were more likely to carry the atypical cpb2 gene (atyp-cpb2) (OR = 19, P <0.001) compared to isolates that were negative for cpb2. Multivariable analysis did not identify farm factors affecting the presence of consensus cpb2 and atyp-cpb2 genes. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides baseline data on the prevalence of C. perfringens and associated toxin genes in healthy pigs at different stages of production on Ontario swine farms. The study suggests that if C. perfringens type A are involved in neonatal enteritis, there may be strains with specific characteristics that cannot be identified by the existing genotyping system.
BMC Veterinary Research 09/2012; 8(1):156. · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for detection and quantitation of beta2-toxin in neonatal piglet intestinal contents. Polystyrene plates were coated with polyclonal capture antibodies prepared against consensus recombinant beta2-toxin. The ELISA was developed using consensus recombinant beta2-toxin, atypical recombinant beta2-toxin, purified consensus native beta2-toxin, and field samples of neonatal porcine intestinal contents. Captured antigen was detected using a horseradish peroxidase-labeled monoclonal antibody against consensus recombinant beta2-toxin. The limit of detection of the ELISA for consensus beta2-toxin was between 2.0 and 3.5 ng/ml. The ELISA detected atypical recombinant beta2-toxin only weakly. Optical density was protein concentration dependent. The test confirmed differences between consensus and atypical recombinant beta2-toxin, but similar results obtained when testing pure consensus recombinant beta2-toxin and native beta2-toxin. Results obtained from intestinal content samples, particularly from the small intestine, were highly inconsistent and suggested variable protease activity. Addition of protease inhibitors partially prevented degradation of the toxin; however, sample processing at low temperature, at a lower pH (citrate buffer with 5% of bovine serum albumin, pH 6.1), and "cold incubation" of applied antigens abolished protease activity. The recombinant toxin was preserved in spiked intestinal samples by freezing at -70°C, suggesting that necropsy samples can be stored frozen for periodic testing. With appropriate sample preparation, antigen-capture ELISA can detect beta2-toxin in the intestinal content and feces of neonatal piglets.
Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation: official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc 08/2012; 24(5):895-902. · 1.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the prevalence and expression of the "consensus" and the "atypical"cpb2 genes in Clostridium perfringens isolates from cattle, chickens, dogs, goats, horses, pigs and sheep using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by Western blotting. Almost all porcine isolates (12/14) carried and expressed the consensus form of cpb2 but, when present in 108 non-porcine isolates, the gene was usually the atypical form (40 atypical versus 9 consensus). Western blotting showed expression in 30 of 40 (75%) atypical cpb2-positive isolates, considerably more frequently than reported previously. CPB2 was expressed by almost all (20/21) the consensus cpb2-positive isolates, regardless of source.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 1.5-year-old female rabbit (doe) was presented with a 3-day history of lethargy, anorexia, and mild facial swelling. The animal died shortly after examination and severe, acute hemorrhagic pneumonia was noted grossly. An alphaherpesvirus consistent with leporid herpesvirus-4 was isolated and characterized from this animal. This is the first confirmed report of the disease in Canada.
The Canadian veterinary journal. La revue veterinaire canadienne 12/2010; 51(12):1383-6. · 0.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There currently are commercial fowlpox virus (FPV)-vectored vaccines for use in chickens, including TROVAC-AIV H5, which expresses the hemagglutinin (HA) antigen of an avian influenza virus and can confer immunity against avian influenza in chickens. Despite the use of recombinant FPV (rFPV) for vaccine delivery, very little is known about the immune responses generated by these viruses in chickens. The present study was designed to investigate host responses to rFPV in vivo and in vitro. In cultured cells infected with TROVAC-AIV H5, there was an early increase in the expression of type I interferons (IFN), Toll-like receptors 3 and 7 (TLR3 and TLR7, respectively), TRIF, and MyD88, which was followed by a decrease in the expression of these genes at later time points. There also was an increase in the expression of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-8, and beta-defensin genes at early time points postinfection. In chickens immunized with TROVAC-AIV H5, there was higher expression of IFN-gamma and IL-10 at day 5 postvaccination in spleen of vaccinated birds than in that of control birds. We further investigated the ability of the vaccine to induce immune responses against the HA antigen and discovered that there was a cell-mediated response elicited in vaccinated chickens against this antigen. The findings of this study demonstrate that FPV-vectored vaccines can elicit a repertoire of responses marked by the early expression of TLRs, type I interferons, and proinflammatory cytokines, as well as cytokines associated with adaptive immune responses. This study provides a platform for designing future generations of rFPV-vectored vaccines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is the causative agent of PRRS, which is characterized by late-term abortions in sows and respiratory disease in young pigs. Using an infectious cDNA clone of North American PRRSV strain P129, the viral genome was engineered to transcribe an additional subgenomic RNA initiating between non-structural and structural genes. Two unique restriction sites and a copy of the transcription regulatory sequence for ORF6 (TRS6) were inserted between ORFs 1b and 2a, yielding a general purpose expression vector. The enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene was cloned between the unique sites such that the inserted gene was transcribed from TRS2 which was located upstream within ORF1b, while the copy of TRS6 drives ORF2a/b transcription. Upon transfection of cells with this plasmid, PRRSV infection was initiated and progeny virus "P129-GFP" was obtained. Cells infected with P129-GFP showed fluorescence and the inserted gene was phenotypically stable for at least 37 serial in vitro passages. Subsequently, a capsid (C) protein gene was cloned from porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) recovered from an outbreak of porcine multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) and inserted into the PRRSV infectious clone vector, generating virus "P129-PCV". To determine the immunogenicity of the recombinant viruses, pigs were immunized intramuscularly with P129-WT (wild-type), P129-GFP, or P129-PCV2. By 5 weeks post-infection, specific antibody responses to GFP and PCV2 capsid were elicited. This is the first report of foreign gene expression using PRRSV from dedicated subgenomic RNAs and demonstrates the potential use of PRRSV as a vaccine vector for swine pathogens.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomes of two low pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (LPAI) viruses, A/Turkey/ON/84/1983 and A/Mallard/ON/499/2005 from Ontario, Canada were cloned and genetically characterized. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Canadian isolates cluster with other North American AIVs and are distinct from the Euro-Asian H5N1 isolates. Individual gene comparisons demonstrated that the Ontario isolates were most similar to the viruses isolated from around the same time period and geographical area. A long deletion of 22 amino acids was identified in the stalk region of NA of A/Turkey/ON/84/1983 isolate, a characteristic mutation related to its adaptation to domestic birds. To our knowledge A/Turkey/ON/84/1983 genomic sequence is the first and only available entire genomic sequence of a H5N1 AIV from domestic birds in Canada and USA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PRRSV (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus) nucleocapsid (N) protein is the most abundant structural protein of the virus. During infection, the N protein is specifically localized to the nucleus and nucleolus in addition to its normal cytoplasmic distribution. Previously, a nuclear localization signal (NLS, 41-PGKK(N/S)KKKN)-null mutant virus (41-PGGGNKKKN) showed reduced viremia and increased production of neutralizing antibodies in infected pigs. However, the mutagenized NLS underwent strong selection pressure in the pig that resulted in partial or complete reversion and reacquisition of NLS function, and thus the biological effect of the NLS-null mutation needed further investigation. In the present study, a total of 9 "reversion resistant" mutants were generated by amino acid deletions and substitutions using an infectious cDNA clone. Two mutant clones (PG--SKKKS and PG--S-KKS) that produced progeny viruses were genetically stable for at least 20 passages in cell culture. Infection of pigs with those mutants induced neutralizing antibodies to higher titers than with wild-type virus. Both mutant viruses induced viremia of lower titer and of shorter duration than wild-type virus. RT-PCR from tonsils showed that both mutants persisted at a reduced level. Virus transmission to contact pigs was also lower in the mutant virus infected groups. No reversion to functional NLS was detected in either mutant from any pig. These data demonstrate that N protein nuclear localization is indeed associated with viral pathogenesis and host response to PRRS.
Virus Research 08/2008; 135(1):107-14. · 2.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rhodococcus equi causes fatal granulomatous pneumonia in foals and immunocompromised animals and humans. However, there is no effective vaccine against this infection. In this study, the chromosomal genes isocitrate lyase (icl) and cholesterol oxidase (choE) were chosen as targets for mutation and assessment of the double mutant as an intrabronchial vaccine in 1-week-old foals. Using a modification of a suicide plasmid previously developed in this laboratory, we developed a choE-icl unmarked deletion mutant of R. equi strain 103+. Five 1-week-old foals were infected intrabronchially with the mutant and challenged intrabronchially with the parent, virulent, strain 2 weeks later. Three of the foals were protected against pneumonia caused by the virulent strain, but the other two foals developed pneumonia caused by the mutant strain during the post-challenge period. Since infection of 3-week-old foals by an icl mutant in an earlier study had shown complete attenuation of the strain, we conclude that a proportion of foals in the 1st week or so of life are predisposed to developing R. equi pneumonia because of an inability to mount an effective immune response. This has been suspected previously but this is the first time that this has been demonstrated experimentally.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rhodococcus equi can cause severe or fatal pneumonia in foals as well as in immunocompromised animals and humans. Its ability to persist in macrophages is fundamental to how it causes disease, but the basis of this is poorly understood. To examine further the general application of a recently developed system of targeted gene mutation and to assess the importance of different genes in resistance to innate immune defenses, we disrupted the genes encoding high-temperature requirement A (htrA), nitrate reductase (narG), peptidase D (pepD), phosphoribosylaminoimidazole-succinocarboxamide synthase (purC), and superoxide dismutase (sodC) in strain 103 of R. equi using a double-crossover homologous recombination approach. Virulence testing by clearance after intravenous injection in mice showed that the htrA and narG mutants were fully attenuated, the purC and sodC mutants were unchanged, and the pepD mutant was slightly attenuated. Complementation with the pREM shuttle plasmid restored the virulence of the htrA and pepD mutants but not that of the narG mutant. A single-crossover mutation approach was simpler and faster than the double-crossover homologous recombination technique and was used to obtain mutations in 6 other genes potentially involved in virulence (clpB, fadD8, fbpB, glnA1, regX3, and sigF). These mutants were not attenuated in the mouse clearance assay. We were not able to obtain mutants for genesfurA, galE, and sigE using the single-crossover mutation approach. In summary, the targeted-mutation system had general applicability but was not always completely successful, perhaps because some genes are essential under the growth conditions used or because the success of mutation depends on the target genes.
Canadian journal of veterinary research = Revue canadienne de recherche vétérinaire 02/2007; 71(1):1-7. · 1.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To analyze further the role in virulence of the prominent cholesterol oxidase (ChoE) of Rhodococcus equi, an allelic exchange choE mutant from strain 103+ was constructed and assessed for virulence in macrophages, in mice, and in foals. There was no difference between the mutant and parent strain in cytotoxic activity for macrophages or in intra-macrophage multiplication. No evidence of attenuation was obtained in macrophages and in mice, but there was slight attenuation apparent in four intra-bronchially infected foals compared to infection of four foals with the virulent parent strain, based on a delayed rise in temperature of the choE-mutant infected foals. However, bacterial colony counts in the lung 2 weeks after infection were not significantly different, although there was a slight but non-significant (P=0.12) difference in lung:body weight ratio of the choE mutant versus virulent parent infected foals (mean 2.67+/-0.25% compared to 4.58+/-0.96%). We conclude that the cholesterol oxidase is not important for the virulence of R. equi.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gene fragment coding for bovine C3d gene (boC3d) was cloned and expressed as a component of fusion proteins destined for use in vaccine studies in cattle, and for in vitro experiments. This fragment of complement protein C3 (C3d) has been shown to enhance B cell responses when complexed with antigen. Three potential vaccine constructs were engineered to contain one, two or three boC3d units linked to a fragment of the leukotoxin of Mannheimia haemolytica A1, an economically important pathogen of cattle that causes a fibrinous pneumonia in calves. A recombinant biotinylated boC3d protein (for use in in vitro studies) was generated by endogenous biotinylation in Escherichia coli by means of the BirA holoenzyme synthetase. All recombinant proteins incorporated polyhistidine tags and were purified by nickel-agarose chromatography, then analyzed by SDS-PAGE and Western immunoblot. The identity of boC3d was confirmed by mass spectrometry, since monoclonal antibodies to boC3d were not available. To date, published research into the adjuvant activities of C3d has been limited to experiments in mice and rabbits, using antigens unrelated to diseases occurring naturally in these species. The boC3d fusion proteins expressed in this study will provide the basis for immunization trials in cattle and studies of receptor binding and cell activation of bovine lymphocytes.
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 12/2006; 114(1-2):61-71. · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Swine hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a newly identified potentially zoonotic agent that is possibly transmitted to humans from pigs. Swine HEV is prevalent in pig populations and does not cause abnormal clinical symptoms in infected pigs, further implicating a likelihood of a risk of transmission to humans by normal contact. To date in North America, only one strain of swine HEV (strain US swine) has been fully sequenced. In the present study, we identified a swine HEV isolate from pigs in Canada, designated the Arkell strain, and determined the full length of the genomic sequence. The genome of Canadian strain Arkell consisted of 7,242 nucleotides, excluding the poly(A) tail of at least 15 A residues. The genome contained three open reading frames (ORFs), ORF1, ORF2, and ORF3, which had coding capacities for proteins of 1,708, 660, and 122 amino acids, respectively. Comparative analysis of the full-length genomic sequence indicated that the sequence of strain Arkell was distinct from those of all other known HEV isolates by 13 to 27% and shared the highest degrees of identity with human HEV isolates US-1 and US-2, HEV isolate US swine, and the human and swine HEV isolates recently isolated in Japan. On the basis of sequence similarities and phylogenetic analyses, HEV strain Arkell was grouped into genotype 3. The sequence of the Arkell swine HEV isolate differed from those of HEV isolate US swine and HEV isolate Japan swine by 13 and 14%, respectively. To date, two isolates of swine HEV (isolates Arkell and SK3 [D. Yoo et al., Clin. Diagn. Lab. Immunol. 8:1213-1219, 2001]) have been identified in Canadian pigs, and their sequences also differ from each other by 11.8%. Our studies indicate that, as with human HEV strains, swine HEV isolates exhibit extensive genetic heterogeneity.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 12/2002; 40(11):4021-9. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Swine hepatitis E virus is a newly identified potentially zoonotic virus from pigs of particular concern for possible direct transmission to a human xenotransplant recipient by organ transplantation. In the present study, prevalence of serum antibodies to hepatitis E virus was examined in Canadian swine herds. A total of 998 serum samples collected from 6-month-old healthy slaughter hogs were examined by enzyme immunoassay and Western blot analysis for antibodies to the recombinant open reading frame 3 (ORF3) protein of hepatitis E virus expressed in Escherichia coli. These samples represented more than 80 different swine production units from five major swine-producing provinces across Canada. From this study, 594 samples (59.4%) were found to be positive for hepatitis E virus antibody. The seroprevalence was higher in Quebec (88.8%) and Ontario (80.1%) than in Alberta and Saskatchewan (38.3%). By PCR using a pair of oligonucleotide primers deduced from the ORF2 sequence of human hepatitis E virus, a specific hepatitis E virus sequence was recovered from feces of pigs. The nucleotide sequence identity between the U.S. swine hepatitis E virus and the Canadian isolate (SK3) was only 85.8%, suggesting that genotypic variations may exist in swine hepatitis E virus in North America. Among 165 serum samples collected from humans in Saskatchewan, 2.4% were found to be positive for antibodies to the hepatitis E virus ORF3 protein. Our data indicate that hepatitis E virus is highly prevalent in commercial swine populations in Canada and support the suggestion that the swine hepatitis E virus may be an important zoonotic agent for humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sialodacryoadenitis virus (SDAV) is a coronavirus that is commonly found in laboratory rats and that causes sialodacryoadenitis and respiratory illness. We cloned and sequenced the 3' terminal 9.8 kb of the genomic RNA and analyzed the structure of the viral genome. As with mouse hepatitis coronaviruses (MHVs), the SDAV genome was able to code for a spike protein, a small membrane protein, a membrane-associated protein, and a nucleocapsid protein. In addition, the hemagglutinin-esterase gene capable of encoding a protein of 439 amino acids (aa) was identified. The putative functional site for acetylesterase activity was present in the HE protein as Phe-Gly-Asp-Ser (FGDS), suggesting that the SDAV HE protein might have retained the esterase activity. Immediately upstream of the HE gene and downstream of the polymerase 1b gene, the NS2 nonstructural-protein gene was identified with a coding capacity of 274 aa. A motif of UCUAAAC was identified as a potential transcription signal for subgenomic mRNA synthesis. Large insertions of 172, 127, and 44 aa were detected in the N-terminal half of the predicted S protein of SDAV when its sequence was compared to the sequences of MHV 2, MHV JHM, and MHV A59, respectively. The sequence information on the SDAV S-protein gene was applied to a differential diagnostic PCR to detect and distinguish the rat coronavirus from mouse coronaviruses. This is the first report on the comprehensive genetic information of any rat coronavirus.