Reverse Vaccinology Approach for the Prevention of Mycobacterial Diseases in Cattle (ReVAMP)
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.
The most effective way to prevent infectious disease in animals such as cattle is vaccination. Lack of effective vaccines for some diseases contributes to the overuse of antibiotics and the strategy of slaughtering infected animals, which has come under increasing public scrutiny.
Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) is a debilitating disease of cattle that can spread to humans and other domestic and wild animals and Johne’s disease (JD) is a contagious and chronic disease of cattle. These are common diseases of high economic importance to the Agri-food industry in Canada however, there is no effective vaccine to protect cattle against these diseases.
The overarching goal of the ReVAMP project which was led by Drs. Volker Gerdts and Andrew Potter of VIDO-InterVac, University of Saskatchewan, and Robert Hancock of the University of British Columbia, was to use genomics and reverse vaccinology to develop vaccines for two cattle diseases, Johne’s disease and Bovine tuberculosis.
The ReVAMP project used genomic technology to screen large numbers of bacterial proteins to identify those that have properties that can stimulate a protective immune response in cattle. The identified proteins then formed the basis for developing novel vaccines and immunization strategies.
Highlights of project outcomes include (i) a number of key white papers with novel information for the public, producers, industry and government on the options and strategies for dealing with these important cattle diseases, (ii) identification and testing of candidate proteins that could be used as vaccines against these two diseases, (iii) the development of new infection and vaccine screening models for JD and bTB, and (iv) the creation of a framework to facilitate core research programs for these important national & global diseases.
Overall, the findings from this project provide a platform for Canadian researchers to lead national & global collaborations into vaccines & therapeutics research for Bovine Tuberculosis and Johne’s disease.