Ames, Iowa-based vaccine producer Harrisvaccines announced it has been awarded a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) research. This project is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Grant no. 2013-67015-21307 from the NIFA.
The grant, titled Proteomics-defined Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Immunoproteome, will be a two-year project, beginning on October 1, 2013. Dr. Mark Mogler, Head of Research for Harrisvaccines, and Dr. Kurt Kamrud collaborated in achieving the grant with Dr. Manohar John of PathoVacs. Dr. Mogler will be serving as Project Director.
The basic research project will focus on a new way of looking for protective determinants of the PRRS virus. Harrisvaccines will be generating protein fragment libraries of PRRSV strains and the PRRSV protein fragment libraries will be screened using innovative technology developed by their collaborator on the project, Dr. John.
"Dr. John has a novel technology that allows him to screen thousands of antigens at a time," said Dr. Mogler. "This will be very beneficial, because rather than looking at only one antigen at a time, we will be able to look at tens of thousands simultaneously."
During the first year of the project, Harrisvaccines will be generating the fragments and creating fragment libraries for screening; screening will also be done during the first year. The second year of the project will mainly consist of data analysis and confirmatory testing.
At the end of the two years, Dr. Mogler is confident that Harrisvaccines will be able to characterize the immune response to PRRSV proteins by identifying reactive sites that otherwise, would not have been found.
"Ideally we would find a sequence, or a set of sequences, that are found across all PRRSV strains. We could then use these to make a more effective PRRSV vaccine," Dr. Mogler explained.