Research Accomplishment Reports 2011

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Acquisition of a FluorChem E Digital Imaging System for Arterivirus (PRRSV and EAV) Vaccine Research

U. B. R. Balasuriya
Department of Veterinary Sciences


Non-Technical Summary

The viruses that (since 1996) constitute the taxonomic order Nidovirales (Arteriviruses, Coronaviruses, Toroviruses and Roniviruses) cause significant disease in a large number of livestock species, poultry, shrimp, and humans. The recent discovery of a previously unknown coronavirus that is now associated with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a newly emerged infectious disease in humans, underpins the importance of scientific research in this field. Similarly in the late 1980's, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), the newest member of arteriviruses family emerged in Europe and North America simultaneously and is now endemic worldwide.

The emergence of these new viruses have changed the focus of nidovirus research and enticed many new investigators into this field of study. The International Nidovirus Symposium, a triennial meeting, is unique in bringing together scientists engaged in various aspects of nidoviruses study including molecular biology, pathogenesis, immunology, evolution and epidemiology and vaccine development. For newcomers to this field, the symposium is an excellent opportunity to obtain an overview of the most recent developments, and to discuss ideas with experts in particular areas of nidovirology.

Several graduate student and postdoctoral travel awards will be given to encourage young scientists to attend this XIIth International Nidovirus Symposium. In addition, invited guest speakers will discuss other important research areas so that participants could update their knowledge bank and learn of new advances brought about in the larger universe of viruses.

2011 Project Description

Funding from this grant was used to purchase a FluorChem E Imaging System from Cell Biosciences for the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center in the Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky. The funding from USDA was matched by the College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky.

2011 Impact

The FluorChem E Imaging System is located in room 435 at the Gluck Equine Research Center. This instrument is freely accessible to all investigators (20), graduate students (25-30) postdoctoral scholars (5), technicians (5) and visiting scientists (2-3) in the Department of Veterinary Science. The instrument is available to the College of Agriculture research community on an appointment basis. No publications associated with the equipment grant.