Maedi Visna virus and Mycobacterium paratuberculosis are common sheep pathogens, causing chronic pneumonia and enteritis, respectively. This project will study the interaction of these pathogens in the ovine lung and the influence of coinfection on the pathogenesis of the pulmonary lesions. Samples from MVV cases, paratuberculosis cases and control sheep will be studied using immunohistochemistry (IHC), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and in situ hybridisation (ISH) for both pathogens. Tissues with dual infection and MVV-alone will be compared by histopathology and the expression of pathogenesis markers including TGF-B, LFA-1 and -3, L-selectin, VLAX, CD44, hsp65, MHC I and II, CDland macrophage markers. The influence of coinfection on virus transcription, cell phenotype and cytokine production will be assessed in vitro in macrophages. This proposal is based on preliminary evidence of dual infection in the sheep lung and could provide an animal model for the known interaction between HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the human lung.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
This programme will provide an excellent training in modern molecular pathology techniques within an active pathology Department. The candidate will acquire skills of research management and execution.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
The Department is developing novel diagnostic tests for MVV that may be of industrial interest.