Molecular determinants of viral virulence and pathogenicity, and development of improved vaccine candidates and diagnostic tests

Lead Research Organisation: The Pirbright Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED

Abstract

The aim of the project is to characterise the molecular determinants that correlate with virus virulence, greater transmission and spread and to develop efficacious vaccines and highly sensitive diagnostic tests. This project will take forward our recent studies on Dynamics, selection and pathogenicity in avian influenza viruses: from individual to population and Genetic evolution in H9N2 viruses in poultry. These studies revealed that a number of precise molecular genetic changes in avian influenza virus genes could enhance virus adaption and fitness during experimental introduction or during natural circulation in chickens, turkeys and ducks, which directly correlate with increased virus virulence and transmissibility in different poultry hosts. To further study the functional role of these molecular markers, we will utilise a number of molecular, genetic and biophysical techniques to investigate how these mutations/substitutions affect the virus life cycle and increase pathogenicity.
In addition, the project encompasses the development of new improved control strategies against avian influenza viruses by developing new vaccines and highly specific diagnostic tests.

Publications


10 25 50
Iourin O (2013) Expression, purification and crystallization of the ectodomain of the envelope glycoprotein E2 from Bovine viral diarrhoea virus. in Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology and crystallization communications
Iqbal M (2009) Controlling avian influenza infections: The challenge of the backyard poultry. in Journal of molecular and genetic medicine : an international journal of biomedical research
 
Description We characterised the molecular determinants that correlate with virus virulence, greater transmission and spread and developed develop improved vaccines that protects chickens from avian influenza virus. we also developed novel regents for rapid and sensitive diagnosis of avian influenza H5, H7 and H9 sub-types.
Exploitation Route The work has been published and presented in scientific meetings. We and researchers around the world are using our findings and methods to improve control systems against influenza viruses.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
 
Description BBSRC International Partnering Awards
Amount £49,500 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/P025803/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 08/2017 
End 07/2021
 
Description Institutional Links grants
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 261727271 
Organisation Newton Fund 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 08/2017 
End 07/2019
 
Description Japan Partnering Award
Amount £49,500 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/P025803/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2021
 
Description Newton Institutional Links gran
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 261727271 
Organisation Newton Fund 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2019
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Agricultural Research Centre
Department Veterinary Serum and Vaccine Research Institute (VSVRI)
Country Egypt, Arab Republic of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Francis Crick Institute
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Imperial College London (ICL)
Department MSk Lab
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Imperial College London (ICL)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Suez Canal University
Country Egypt, Arab Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation University of Tokyo
Department International Research Center for Infectious Diseases
Country Japan 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Zagazig University
Country Egypt, Arab Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description 1. Improvement of vaccines and diagnostics for avian influenza viruses. South West Chicken Association. 28th Annual Trade Fair and Conference, 19 April 2016. Bristol, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact gave the overview of scientific advances for the control of avian influenza infection and spread in poultry to farmers and representative from poultry production chain.over 200 peoples attanded South West Chicken Association. 28th Annual Trade Fair and Conference, 19 April 2016. Bristol, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.farminguk.com/agricultural-shows-and-events/South-West-Chicken-Association-Conference-Tr...
 
Description 4. H9N2 avian influenza in chickens of northern Vietnam: prevalence, diversity, pathogenicity. Options for the Control of Infuenza IX. Chicago, Illinois, USA, 24-28 August 2016. 5. Defining the antigenic sites of H9N2 avian influenza viruses. Options for the Control of In uenza IX. Chicago, Illinois, USA, 24-28 August 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International Influenza conference on options for the control of influenza infections in animals and humans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://2016.isirv.org
 
Description 6. Evolutionary fitness of avian influenza viruses and development of improved vaccines and diagnostics. Seminar as inviated speaker at RVC (Hawkshead Campus), UK. 19 October 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk delivered on the topic "improvement of vaccines and diagnostic for poultry at The pirbright Institute UK, as an invited speaker at Royal Veterinary College (RVC) London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Evolutionary fitness of avian influenza viruses and development of improved vaccines and diagnostics. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Seminar entitled "Evolutionary fitness of avian influenza viruses and development of improved vaccines and diagnostics" was presented as invited speaker to Postgraduate students and staff at RVC (Hawkshead Campus), UK. 19 October 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Zoonotic Pathogens and Biorisk Management. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk was presented at workshop "Zoonotic Pathogens and Biorisk Management" at University of Veterianry and Animal Scieences Lahore, Pakistan and Institute of public health, Lahore 26-28 October 2016.

Both Medical and Veterinary professionals attended the workshop for CPD.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016