Research objectives and content
The Classical Swine Fever Virus (CSFV) causes a porcine desease which in the end can kill the respective specie and thus is an economical problem in the export market.
Vaccines against this pathogen were developed but their application in the EC is only allowed in emergency cases due to non- differentiation between infected und vaccinated animals. An alternative to already common vaccines is to use derivatives based on synthetic peptide. These vaccines are derived from parts of the seaquences of viral proteins (epitopes) and are able to induce neutalizing antibodies against CSFV.
The aim of this project is the identification of Classical Swine Fever Virus specific T-cell epitopes using mainly undecapeptide libraries. The influence of each individual amino acid in 1 Imer peptid on binding to MHC (Major histocompatibility complex) will be studied by a positional scanning approach with llmer Peptide libraries. The results of these experiments will be summarized in an activity pattern of the peptide library that could be the basis for a prediction of MHC ligands.
The expected results of the project are the identification of new T-cell epitopes, the improvement of diagnostics, the development of a vaccine against the virus und scape mutants and the understanding of the peptide binding to porcine MHC molecules (peptide motif).
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The project will bring together complementary expertise in biopolymer synthesis and viral immunology. The project focusses on identification of new vaccine antigens and it will lead to the identification of differences among strains and isolates of CSFV.