The result could be new knowledge about how to make cattle herds healthier.
Assistant professor Michael Gonda in SDSU’s Department of Animal & Range Sciences is leading that study with assistance from graduate student researcher Xin Fang. Gonda is looking at individual genes and also the genome, or the entire system of genes carrying hereditary information.
The work has implications for other species besides cattle and could also add to understanding vaccine response in humans.
“It’s often assumed that animals, and humans as well, respond uniformly to a vaccine,” Gonda said. “In reality there’s a lot of variation in vaccine response. Some animals respond very well and very robustly to the vaccine, other animals don’t respond at all.
“In fact, there is a certain fraction of the population that simply does not respond to the vaccine.
“One of the goals of my laboratory is to determine how much of the non-response to vaccines, or differences in response to vaccination, is actually controlled by genetics, by the animal’s own genes.”
Researchers are vaccinating in total about 1,500 calves over a two- to three-year period. They’re using both animals at the SDSU campus as well as at some outlying SDSU research stations such as the Cottonwood Research Station and the Antelope Research Station in western South Dakota, and the SDSU Cow Camp in Miller. In addition the study uses a beef and a dairy research herd at North Carolina State University, where some of Gonda’s collaborators work.
Scientists are vaccinating all these animals with a commercially available vaccine that protects against both types of Bovine Viral Diarrhea, or BVD. Twenty-five to 30 days later, researchers go back and measure how the animals have responded to the vaccine — whether the response is strong, moderate, low, or if they have not responded at all.
The scientists measure vaccine response by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or ELISA, a technique that can detect the presence of antibodies produced by the animal’s immune system in response to the vaccination. Measuring these antibodies gives a good picture of how an animal responds to the vaccine.
“Our objective is once we get these vaccine response measurements, we want to determine — is vaccine response heritable? That means, is there a genetic component to vaccine response? And if there is, can we find any genes or any loci that are associated with vaccine response?” Gonda said. “We do have some preliminary data that suggest the vaccine response is heritable.”
If there is a genetic component to a response to vaccination for BVD, it’s possible that the same genes would be involved, no matter what vaccine is being given. And it’s at least possible that a gene found to help regulate vaccine response in cattle could play an important role in vaccine response in other species of livestock or in humans.
Gonda and his colleagues are looking specifically at polymorphisms, or regions of genes where there are differences from animal to animal. Researchers are focusing in on genes that they know are important from an immunological standpoint such as the major histocompatability complex, a genomic region important to the immune system.
They’re also studying the leptin gene, which is thought to have a role in regulating the immune system. A polymorphism within the leptin gene has already been shown to affect vaccine response to a rabies vaccine in cattle by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan.
Eventually, Gonda said, his research could look at the entire genome.
“One of the biggest applications of genomics is going to be to identify molecular markers within genomes that can be used to select for traits in livestock,” Gonda said. “One of the long-term goals of the studies that I’m doing is to identify molecular markers or genes that are associated with vaccine response so that perhaps one day livestock producers can go out, and they can select animals that have favorable marker alleles for vaccine response and make their cattle healthier.”
The South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station is funding the research.
Jeanne Jones Manzer | Newswise Science News
Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine
22.11.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Researchers identify how bacterium survives in oxygen-poor environments
22.11.2017 | Columbia University
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy