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Pathogenomics research Promises to Speed Vaccine Development

by 5m Editor
23 January 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1431. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1431

New pathogenomics research planned for the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon promises to help speed up the development of vaccines.

Last October VIDO completed the construction of a new wing which will house much of its pathogenomics research and, over the next three to four months, 1.14 million dollars worth of new equipment will be installed.

Pathogenomics Research Group Director Dr. Philip Griebel says this area of research will extend VIDO's understanding of the agents that cause disease and how animals respond to them.

"The area of pathogenomics is really just a different way of looking at this interaction between an infectious agent and the host, or the animal, that is being infected but now it is being done at a genetic level.

With pathogenomics we are looking at the changes in expression of genes both in the infectious agent but, more important, we're looking at what goes on in an animal at the time of infection right at site of entry of the infectious agent...how does the animal respond?

We're doing that by looking at what genes are expressed. That helps us to understand what biological responses may be important in determining whether the animal actually clears the infection or is able to eliminate the infectious agent or whether the animal succumbs and becomes sick or may go on to die.

We're trying to understand what determines that balance between clearance of the infectious agent and actual disease that may occur".

Dr. Griebel says a better understanding of the disease process will allow scientists to design vaccines that will induce the type of response that will ensure clearance of the infectious agent.

He says the information will also assist in the development of other tools that will help prevent disease.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor