Research Project Database
Code: EMIDA22
Title: MYCOBACTDIAGNOSIS - Development of novel diagnostic strategies for the ante-mortem immunodiagnosis of bovine tuberculosis and Johne's Disease
Country: United Kingdom
Funding Organisation: Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
French National Research Agency (ANR)
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF)
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Germany)
Ministero delle Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali (MiPAAF)
Animal Group: Cattle
Pathogen: Mycobacterium spp.
Disease: Tuberculosis
Johne's disease
Category: Infection, immunity and biotechnology > Diagnostic test development, including microarray
Research Organisation: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lombardia ed Emilia Romagna
University College Dublin
INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
FLI - Friedrich Loeffler Institute
Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA)
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Venezie
Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR
Moredun Research Institute (MRI)
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
Enfer Scientific
Number of Research Staff (FTE):  
Principal Investigator (PI): Dr Martin Vordermeir, AHVLA
Cost (Euros): 3870753
End Date (dd/mm/yyyy): 31-03-2015
Duration (months): 36
Project objectives and deliverables with estimated delivery dates for each deliverable (if possible): Mycobacterial infections such as bovine tuberculosis (bTB) or Johne's disease (JD) exact an enormous cost on European agriculture. Current diagnostic tests are based on immune responses to bovine, avian and johnin tuberculin, reagents which have specificity, sensitivity and standardisation constraints. The absence of adequate JD diagnostic tools for early detection of latently infected livestock severely interferes with animal welfare. Further, JD infection interferes with bTB diagnosis in dually infected herds. Significant common ground exists between the immunobiology of these two infections to propose an integrated approach to develop improved diagnostic tests based on assay platforms (skin testing, serology and defined bTB and JD antigens) that can be applied across both diseases. The overarching objective of this proposal is to improve the diagnosis of both infections and to generate tools that are not compromised in sensitivity or specificity by co-infection. This multi-disciplinary consortium bridges both fields with experience in the biology of these diseases: experimental infection and co-infection models; cellular immunology; bioinformatics; antigen mining; lipid and protein biochemistry; test development and exploitation. Our multi-pronged translational research approach consists of: validating already prioritised bTB and JD antigens (proteins, peptides, lipids) and platforms such as skin test,interferon-gamma release assays, conventional serology (WP1); an applied research arm of generic platform development and antigen discovery by multiplexing serology and cytokine assays and bioinformatical and biochemical mining of protein and glycolipid antigens (WP2, 3); and a fundamental and basic research arm investigating and characterising T cell populations recognising nonproteinaceous antigens such as glycolipids. In addition we will also define potential biomarker signatures of latency based on regulatory cytokine expression and effector/memory cell dynamics (WP4). These 4 work packages therefore address all 5 research questions posed in subtopic F5. Most partners will contribute across the work packages thus ensuring a closely coordinated and mutually supportive collaborative framework. Partner 4 is an SME with proven experience in developing multiplex tests that are commercially available and will directly exploit results from WP1 and WP2. Partners 1,2,3,5 and 7 are reference national laboratories for TB and JD, thus further facilitating the transition of research to the diagnostic setting. Outputs will include: diagnostic tests that improve the sensitivity and specificity of detecting bTB and JD, including in the face of coinfection; the development of novel serological and cytokine multiplexes and discovery of novel antigens to complement platforms in WP2; characterisation of non-conventional T cell populations and discovery of biomarkers latency-associated latency to facilitate a risk-based approach to disease control.
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