Animal health in the post-genomics era

London
Friday, 24 November 2006

Animal health in the post-genomics era
Friday, 24 November 2006 09:45 - 17:00

The MI Centre
81–103 Euston Street
London
NW1 2EZ
United Kingdom

Map and Directions

Analysis of the immune system and host-pathogen interactions - providing insight in to disease resistance and treatment

"The availability of genome sequences for the major agricultural species and companion animals has revolutionised our ability to understand host-pathogen interactions in these species, and gives us the realistic opportunity to identify disease resistance genes. This is of particular interest in agricultural species, as the use of prophylactic and therapeutic drugs is reduced, and we move to more extensive rearing systems. All will be discussed at this event". Dr P Kaiser- Head of the Avian Genomics group at the Institute for Animal Health - Meetings Chair


09:45 – 10:15 Registration

10:15 – 10:30 Introduction by the Chair – Dr Kaiser, Institute for Animals Health, Compton, UK

10:30 – 11:00 Towards improving innate immune robustness in the chicken, Dr P Kaiser- Avian Genomics group, Institute for Animal Health, Compton, Oxon

The availability of the chicken genome sequence provides the opportunity to resolve outstanding questions concerning which molecular components of the immune system are shared between mammals and birds, and which represent their unique evolutionary solutions. One benefit of this approach should be to identify genes whose products drive innate immune responses in birds, and subsequently single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in these genes between different lines of chickens that differ in their resistance to pathogens. SNPs that correlate with disease resistance are potential markers for use in marker-assisted selection programmes, with the aim of breeding chickens with improved innate immune robustness.

11:00 – 11:30 Comparative Immunology – mapping disease resistance genes  Professor Michael Stear - University of Glasgow, UK

11:30 – 12:00 Mid-morning break: tea/coffee

12:00 – 12:30 Identifying pathways that intersect with T. congolense response QTL  Dr Harry Noyes - University of Liverpool, UK

Trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma congolense is a major constraint on cattle production in Africa. We have mapped 5 QTL in mice and 10 in cattle that are associated with response to infection. The challenge is now to identify the genes underlying these QTL. We are using gene expression microarray, tiling array and SNP data to identify associations with infection and visualising this data in the context of known gene networks to identify those which are involved in the response to infection as well as the networks that respond differently to infection in susceptible and resistant animals.

12:30 – 13:00 Cytokine gene discovery in fish by in silico analysis  Dr Chris Secombes - University of Aberdeen, UK

Many homologues of known mammalian cytokines are known to exist in fish. However, cytokines with no obvious homologues are also apparent, whilst some mammalian genes, such as those belonging to the Th2 cytokine cluster, have not been found. Whilst a complex cytokine network is clearly present in fish, particular duplications may have led to fish specific or tetrapod/higher vertebrate specific genes arising in different vertebrate classes. This talk will illustrate this by analysis of cytokine genes of the classical proinflammatory cascade, and the interferon gamma locus.

13.00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 14:30 Exploiting innate immunity to improve the health and performance of pigs  Professor Stephen Bishop - Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, UK

Understanding the genetic control of innate immunity in domestic animals is of fundamental scientific interest and strategically important. We have demonstrated that several easily measured innate immune traits, e.g. white blood cells counts and acute phase protein concentrations, are both heritable and genetically related to performance in growing pigs. Such measurements may provide the means of improving the health and performance of animals in situations where disease problems are difficult to define. This talk will outline this strategy and describe our approaches to utilising SNP markers to attempt to locate the genes underlying variability in innate immune measurements.

14:30 – 15:00 Making sense of cellular interactions in mucosal tissues  Dr Michael Bailey – University of Bristol, UK

In the post-genomic era, we are now in a position to make direct, functional comparisons between immunological mechanisms in different species, since direct, molecular equivalences can be demonstrated. So, studies of the behaviour of CD4 T-cells in the intestinal mucosa of the pig are relevant to humans, since the evolutionary relationships between the molecules can be determined. The level of immunogical organisation of the pig intestinal mucosa is more obvious than that of humans or rodents, and the impact of commensal flora after birth is more pronounced. Using multiple, fluorochrome-tagged monoclonal antibodies allows studies of the interactions between cells in this tissue.

15:00 – 15:30 Afternoon break: tea/coffee

15:30 – 16:00 Using transcriptomics to identify candidates for disease resistance  and host response  Dr Elizabeth Glass, - Genetics and Genomics. Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, UK

There are now many livestock genetic and genomic resources that can be utilised for exploration of the underlying genes and their function in host disease resistance and response to infection and inflammation. For example for cattle, the genome has been sequenced and there are more than 1 million ESTs. However, immune related transcripts are only moderately represented and we created a bovine macrophage library and array which has unique probes and clusters, and used this to investigate the underlying basis for disease resistance to an economically important tick-borne tropical protozoan of cattle. We have identified unique gene expression patterns of response to infection as well as breed differences, which may lead to identification of candidate genes for disease resistance, as well as furthering our understanding of host-pathogen interactions.

16:00 – 16:30 Genome Scale Indentification of Host Genes as Antiviral Targets Dr Paul Kellam - University College London, UK

How pathogens change cellular patterns of gene expression can uncover novel aspects of the host-pathogen interaction. Using small molecule inhibitors of these host gene proteins can highlight novel therapies and provide a rational for assigning genes as involved in disease susceptibility. This talk will illustrate the potential of this approach and how it could apply to both human and animal infectious disease.

16:30 - 17:00 Genomics related to animal health-the role of OIE Dr Marie-Hélène Pinard-Van der Lann - World Organisation for Animal Health, France

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is an intergovernmental organisation mandated from its 167 Member Countries to improve world animal health. The OIE is responsible for ensuring transparency of the animal disease situation worldwide, including diseases transmissible to humans, and the sanitary safety of world trade of animals and animal products. The OIE publishes international standards concerning animal welfare and consumer protection.

Through a network of nearly 200 Regional Representations, Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories, the OIE plays a key role in veterinary scientific research and information. In the field of biotechnology, OIE develops guidelines and co-organizes the “International Symposium on Animal Genomics for Animal Health”, hosted in Paris headquarters in October 2007.

17:00 Discussion & Chair’s summing up

 

 

 

*Registraton fees

  • Standard fee - £400
  • Academic fee - £199
  • Student fee- £140
  • IBMS members fee - £199

 

 

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