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1.  Observation of risk factors, clinical manifestations and genetic characterization of recent Newcastle Disease Virus outbreak in West Malaysia 
BMC Veterinary Research  2015;11:219.
Newcastle disease virus remains a constant threat in commercial poultry farms despite intensive vaccination programs. Outbreaks attributed to ND can escalate and spread across farms and states contributing to major economic loss in poultry farms.
Phylogenetic analysis in our study showed that eleven of the samples belonged to genotype VIId. All farms were concurrently positive with two immunosuppressive viruses; Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV) and Marek’s Disease Virus (MDV). Amino acid sequence analysis confirmed that eleven of the samples had sequence motifs for velogenic/mesogenic strains; three were lentogenic.
In conclusion, no new NDV genotype was isolated from the 2011 NDV outbreak. This study suggests that the presence of other immunosuppressive agents such as IBD and MDV could have contributed to the dysfunction of the immune system of the chickens, causing severe NDV outbreaks in 2011. Risk factors related to biosecurity and farm practices appear to have a significant role in the severity of the disease observed in affected farms.
PMCID: PMC4546084  PMID: 26293577
Newcastle disease virus; Infectious Bursal Disease; Marek’s Disease; Immunosuppressive agents; Recent outbreak; Risk factors; Phylogenetic study; Genetic characterization
2.  Transcription analysis on response of porcine alveolar macrophages to Haemophilus parasuis 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:68.
Haemophilus parasuis (H. parasuis) is the etiological agent of Glässer's disease in pigs. Currently, the molecular basis of this infection is largely unknown. The innate immune response is the first line of defense against the infectious disease. Systematical analysis on host innate immune response to the infection is important for understanding the pathogenesis of the infectious microorganisms.
A total of 428 differentially expressed (DE) genes were identified in the porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs) 6 days after H. parasuis infection. These genes were principally related to inflammatory response, immune response, microtubule polymerization, regulation of transcript and signal transduction. Through the pathway analysis, the significant pathways mainly concerned with cell adhesion molecules, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, complement and coagulation cascades, toll-like receptor signaling pathway, MAPK signaling pathway, suggesting that the host took different strategies to activate immune and inflammatory response upon H. parasuis infection. The global interactions network and two subnetworks of the proteins encoded by DE genes were analyzed by using STRING. Further immunostimulation analysis indicated that mRNA levels of S100 calcium-binding protein A4 (S100A4) and S100 calcium-binding protein A6 (S100A6) in porcine PK-15 cells increased within 48 h and were sustained after administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Poly (I:C) respectively. The s100a4 and s100a6 genes were found to be up-regulated significantly in lungs, spleen and lymph nodes in H. parasuis infected pigs. We firstly cloned and sequenced the porcine coronin1a gene. Phylogenetic analysis showed that poCORONIN 1A belonged to the group containing the Bos taurus sequence. Structural analysis indicated that the poCORONIN 1A contained putative domains of Trp-Asp (WD) repeats signature, Trp-Asp (WD) repeats profile and Trp-Asp (WD) repeats circular profile at the N-terminus.
Our present study is the first one focusing on the response of porcine alveolar macrophages to H. parasuis. Our data demonstrate a series of genes are activated upon H. parasuis infection. The observed gene expression profile could help screening the potential host agents for reducing the prevalence of H. parasuis and further understanding the molecular pathogenesis associated with H. parasuis infection in pigs.
PMCID: PMC3296652  PMID: 22330747
3.  Porcine Coronin 1A Contributes to Nuclear Factor-Kappa B (NF-κB) Inactivation during Haemophilus parasuis Infection 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e103904.
Haemophilus parasuis (H.parasuis) is the etiological agent of porcine polyserositis and arthritis (Glässer's disease) characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, meningitis and polyarthritis, causing severe economic losses to the swine industry. Currently, the molecular basis of this infection is largely unkonwn. Coronin 1A (Coro1A) plays important roles in host against bacterial infection, yet little is known about porcine Coro1A. In this study, we investigated the molecular characterization of porcine Coro1A, revealing that porcine Coro1A was widely expressed in different tissues. Coro1A could be induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), polyinosinic acid-polycytidylic acid [poly (I:C)] and H.parasuis in porcine kidney-15 (PK-15) cells. Functional analyses revealed that porcine Coro1A suppressed the NF-κB activation during H.parasuis infection by inhibiting the degradation of IκBα and nuclear translocation of p65. Overexpression of porcine Coro1A inhibited the transcription of NF-κB-mediated downstream genes [Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Interleukin-8 (IL-8) and COX-2] through down-regulation of NF-κB. The results indicated that porcine Coro1A is an important immunity related gene that helps to inhibit NF-kB activation during H. parasuis infection.
PMCID: PMC4122374  PMID: 25093672
4.  Development of a Neutralization Assay for Nipah Virus Using Pseudotype Particles 
Journal of virological methods  2009;160(1-2):1-6.
Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) are zoonotic paramyxoviruses capable of causing severe disease in humans and animals. These viruses require biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) containment. Like other paramyxoviruses, the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) can be used to detect antibodies to the surface glycoproteins, fusion (F) and attachment (G), and PRNT titers give an indication of protective immunity. Unfortunately, for NiV and HeV, the PRNT must be performed in BSL-4 containment and takes 5–7 days to complete. Thus, we have developed a neutralization assay using VSV pseudotype particles expressing the F and G proteins of NiV (pVSV-NiV-F/G) as target antigens. This rapid assay, which can be performed at BSL-2, was evaluated using serum samples from outbreak investigations and more than 300 serum samples from an experimental NiV vaccination study in swine. The results of the neutralization assays with pVSV-NiV-F/G as antigen showed a good correlation with those of standard PRNT. Therefore, this new method has the potential to be a rapid and cost-effective diagnostic method, especially in locations that lack high containment facilities, and will provide a valuable tool for basic research and vaccine development.
PMCID: PMC2704486  PMID: 19559943
5.  Characterization of the Fine Specificity of Bovine CD8 T-Cell Responses to Defined Antigens from the Protozoan Parasite Theileria parva▿  
Infection and Immunity  2007;76(2):685-694.
Immunity against the bovine intracellular protozoan parasite Theileria parva has been shown to be mediated by CD8 T cells. Six antigens targeted by CD8 T cells from T. parva-immune cattle of different major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotypes have been identified, raising the prospect of developing a subunit vaccine. To facilitate further dissection of the specificity of protective CD8 T-cell responses and to assist in the assessment of responses to vaccination, we set out to identify the epitopes recognized in these T. parva antigens and their MHC restriction elements. Nine epitopes in six T. parva antigens, together with their respective MHC restriction elements, were successfully identified. Five of the cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte epitopes were found to be restricted by products of previously described alleles, and four were restricted by four novel restriction elements. Analyses of CD8 T-cell responses to five of the epitopes in groups of cattle carrying the defined restriction elements and immunized with live parasites demonstrated that, with one exception, the epitopes were consistently recognized by animals of the respective genotypes. The analysis of responses was extended to animals immunized with multiple antigens delivered in separate vaccine constructs. Specific CD8 T-cell responses were detected in 19 of 24 immunized cattle. All responder cattle mounted responses specific for antigens for which they carried an identified restriction element. By contrast, only 8 of 19 responder cattle displayed a response to antigens for which they did not carry an identified restriction element. These data demonstrate that the identified antigens are inherently dominant in animals with the corresponding MHC genotypes.
PMCID: PMC2223472  PMID: 18070892
6.  Recombinant Nipah Virus Vaccines Protect Pigs against Challenge 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(16):7929-7938.
Nipah virus (NiV), of the family Paramyxoviridae, was isolated in 1999 in Malaysia from a human fatality in an outbreak of severe human encephalitis, when human infections were linked to transmission of the virus from pigs. Consequently, a swine vaccine able to abolish virus shedding is of veterinary and human health interest. Canarypox virus-based vaccine vectors carrying the gene for NiV glycoprotein (ALVAC-G) or the fusion protein (ALVAC-F) were used to intramuscularly immunize four pigs per group, either with 108 PFU each or in combination. Pigs were boosted 14 days postvaccination and challenged with 2.5 × 105 PFU of NiV two weeks later. The combined ALVAC-F/G vaccine induced the highest levels of neutralization antibodies (2,560); despite the low neutralizing antibody levels in the F vaccinees (160), all vaccinated animals appeared to be protected against challenge. Virus was not isolated from the tissues of any of the vaccinated pigs postchallenge, and a real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assay detected only small amounts of viral RNA in several samples. In challenge control pigs, virus was isolated from a number of tissues (104.4 PFU/g) or detected by real-time RT-PCR. Vaccination of the ALVAC-F/G vaccinees appeared to stimulate both type 1 and type 2 cytokine responses. Histopathological findings indicated that there was no enhancement of lesions in the vaccinees. No virus shedding was detected in vaccinated animals, in contrast to challenge control pigs, from which virus was isolated from the throat and nose (102.9 PFU/ml). Based on the data presented, the combined ALVAC-F/G vaccine appears to be a very promising vaccine candidate for swine.
PMCID: PMC1563797  PMID: 16873250

Results 1-6 (6)