Infectious diseases pose a considerable threat to humans as well as animals and can cause economic damage, especially regarding swine farming. For the development of new therapeutic and prophylactic approaches, knowledge of the circulating pathogen types as well as the interaction of viral pathogens with their host on a molecular biological and immunological level is of most importance. Our research focuses on infections with rotavirus, circovirus, procine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and other porcine viral enteral pathogens.

Darstellung von Forschungsergebnissen zu Erregern bei Schweinen
Forschungsergebnisse Schwein, Foto: Antje Rückner

research projects on viral pathogens of swine

Detection of rotavirus specific antibodies in serum, saliva and gut samples

Subject

The research project investigates the antibody status in mucosa of swine against rotavirus.

 

Summary

Several serotypes are known among the rotaviruses of group A. They show no to low cross-reactivities among themselves. Therefore, the use of a serotype-specific vaccination in animal populations is a prerequisite for an effective control of rotavirus infections. If maternal animals are vaccinated, the transmission of antibodies via the milk is sufficient. If one wants to induce a resilient immunity in the young animals, this depends on the development of a mucosal immunity. The aim of the research is to establish the detection of antibodies in saliva and to check whether this can contribute to the evaluation of mucosal immunity. For this purpose, samples from naturally infected pigs and vaccinated animals are examined.

 

Project manager

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Vahlenkamp

 

Participating employees

TÄ Maxi Harzer

Dr. Antje Rückner

Vaccine development against porcine rotaviruses

Subject

The research project investigates the effects of current vaccination strategies and is intended to enable the establishment of specific alternatives.

 

Summary

Diarrheal diseases are a multifactorial event. Besides nutritional factors, various pathogens play an important role. In Germany, some pathogens such as Clostridia, E.coli, Parvoviruses, Salmonella and others can be controlled with commercial vaccines. In the field of Rotaviruses, however, there are currently no vaccines approved for pigs in Germany. Infections are usually confined to the gastrointestinal tract and are self-limiting. Nevertheless, deaths from dehydration occur, especially in younger animals. Rededicated vaccines based on bovine Rotavirus strains are frequently used in pigs in the field, but these do not always have the desired effect. Serological and molecular biological studies are used to evaluate the effect of using herd specific Rotavirus vaccines and to advance research into new vaccine candidates in cooperation with vaccine manufacturers.

 

Project manager

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Vahlenkamp

 

Participating employees

Dr. Antje Rückner

TÄ Maxi Harzer

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