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Reverse vaccinology approach for the prevention of mycobacterial disease in cattle

2014 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition – Genomics and Feeding the Future
Agriculture and Agri Food
Genome Centre(s):
Genome Prairie, Genome British Columbia
Project Leader(s):
Andrew Potter (VIDO-InterVac, University of Saskatchewan), Robert Hancock (University of British Columbia)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
Project Description: 

This project aims to develop vaccines against two important infectious diseases of cattle,Johne’s disease and bovine tuberculosis.Infections are a leading cause of sickness and death in cattle,causing direct economic losses to producers and even more serious losses associated with international trade restrictions(as seen with mad cow disease)and decreased public confidence in food quality.Infectious diseases also posearisk to human health if they are transferred to people.The most effective way to prevent infectious diseasein animals such as cattle is vaccination.Lack of effective vaccines for some diseases contributes to the over use of antibiotics and to a strategy of slaughtering infected animals, which has come under increasing public scrutiny. 

Dr.Andrew Potter of VIDO-Inter Vac,University of Saskatchewan and Dr. Robert Hancock of the University of British Columbia are leading a team taking a“reverse vaccinology”approach to preventing infectious diseases in cattle.This approachuses genomic technology to screen large numbers of bacterial proteins simultaneously to identify those that have properties that can stimulate a protective immuneres ponsein cattle.These proteins then form the basis for developing novelvaccines and immunization strategies.The team will focus on two common cattle diseases,bovinetuberculosis,adebilitating diseasethat can spread to manand other domestic and wild animals,and Johne’s Disease,a gastro intestinal disease, developing and bringing to market vaccines for these costly diseases with in two years’ of the project’s end.The team will also develop companion diagnostics that will differentiate vaccinated from infected animals. 

The team’s work will ultimately increase productivity and profitability for cattle producer sand increase public confidence by reducing the use of slaughter or antibiotics to control infections.It will also enhance Canada’s reputation as a major Agri food producer.The annual financial impact of the vaccinesis estimated to be around $100 million,with international sales of a further $400 million.