Special Issue "Genomics of Avian Viral Infections"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 October 2021.
Interests: avian genomics; chickens; host responses to infection; disease resistance; avian influenza; Marek’s Disease; environmental adaptation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
The poultry industry currently accounts for the production of around 118 million metric tons of meat and around 74 million metric tons of eggs annually. As the global population continues to increase, so does our reliance on poultry as a food source. It is therefore of vital importance that we safeguard this valuable resource and make the industry as economically competitive as possible. Avian viral infections, however, continue to cost the poultry industry billions of dollars annually. This can be in terms of vaccination costs, loss of birds and decreased production. With a view to improving the health and welfare of commercial birds and to minimising associated economic losses, it is therefore of great importance that we try to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying host susceptibility and resilience to some of the major viral pathogens that threaten the poultry species. Some avian viruses, through their zoonotic potential, also pose a risk to human health. This Special Issue will present papers that describe our current knowledge on host responses to various viral pathogens, the genetics underlying those responses and how genomics can begin to provide a solution for resolving the threat posed by these infections.
Dr. Jacqueline Smith
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Avian genomics
- Avian influenza (AI)
- Candidate genes
- Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV)
- Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV)
- Marek’s Disease Virus (MDV)
- Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV)
- Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL)
- Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)
- Viral load
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Differential miRNA expression profiling of HPAI H5N1 infected chicken lungs reveals critical biological pathways involved in molecular pathogenesis
Abstract: Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral infection mainly affecting the avian species. H5N1 virus has a high capacity for genetic changes making it difficult to control the disease. MicroRNAs are small, regulatory, endogenous, non-coding RNAs of ~22 nucleotides in length which regulate the gene expression by binding to 3' untranslated region (UTR), 5’ UTR or ORF of their target mRNAs. miRNAs play important roles in many of the biological processes and critical in understanding host-pathogen interaction. In the present study, we sequenced the of miRNAs expressed in lungs of specific pathogen free(SPF) chicken infected with avian influenza virus H5N1 on SOLiD platform. The differentially expressed miRNAs during H5N1as compared to non infected SPF chicken lungs were identified. The top 10 upregulated and downregulated miRNAs were validated by qPCR. The target genes of the differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted by in-silico approach. The target genes of significantly upregulated and downregulated miRNAs were subjected to gene ontology analysis. The analysis has shown that many of the important genes and pathways like Jak-STAT pathway, RIG-I-like receptor signalling pathway, Toll-like receptor signalling pathway, RNA transport, MAPK signalling pathway of the host were affected by the miRNAs expressed in the lungs in response to H5N1 infection. GO terms related to immunity, transcription, protein, signalling pathways, apoptosis etc. were found to be enriched in the analysis. Our study has revealed the molecular pathogenesis that happens in the host after the viral entry. This helps in better understanding of the disease and can be used for devising suitable control strategies against H5N1.
Keywords: H5N1; miRNA; SOLiD; qPCR; Gene ontology
Title: Characterisation of Interferon-inducible transmembrane protein expression in infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) infection
Abstract: The coronaviruses encompass a group of enveloped RNA viruses that are widespread in nature and infect a wide variety of animals as well as humans, most commonly causing gastrointestinal or respiratory illnesses in the infected host. Infectious bronchitis virus is a highly pathogenic respiratory pathogen of chickens that can also affect the kidneys and reproductive systems resulting in bird mortality and decreased reproductively. The interferon-inducible transmembrane (IFITM) proteins are activated in response to viral infections and represent a class of cellular restriction factors that block the replication of many viral pathogens. Little is known about the possible role IFITMs play in the restriction of IBV replication. Here, we characterize the relative mRNA expression of the chicken IFITM genes in response to IBV infection, both in-vivo, ex-vivo and in-vitro with the pathogenic M41-CK IBV, the nephropathogenic QX strain and non-pathogenic Beaudette. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), we demonstrate a significant upregulation of chIFITM1, 2, 3 and 5 in M41-CK and QX infected trachea 2 days post infection. chIFITM10 was found to be significantly upregulated (~50 fold) in M41-CK infected kidney only. We did not observe significant chIFITM mRNA upregulation in trachea infected with Beaudette and found no evidence of active replication of this strain in-vivo. Interestingly, in ex-vivo Tracheal Organ Culture (TOCs) and in-vitro, the replication of Beaudette elicits a significant upregulation of chIFITM1, 2 and 3 at 24-hour post infection. Furthermore, we show that in-vitro infection with M41-CK and QX results in a significant upregulation of chIFITM1, 2 and 3 24 hours post infection. The overexpression of chIFITM2 significantly reduces IBV viral titers and its transient knockdown renders DF-1s more susceptible to IBV infection. In summary, we confirmed a differential innate response following infection with distinct IBV strains and believe that our data provide new insights into the possible role of chIFITMs in early IBV infection.
Title: Comparison of the Transcriptomes and Proteomes of Serum Exosomes from Marek’s Disease Virus-vaccinated and Protected and Lymphoma-bearing Chickens
Authors: Sabari Nath Neerukonda1, Phaedra Tavlarides-Hontz1, Fiona McCarthy2, Kenneth Pendarvis2, and Mark S. Parcells1*
1 Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark DE
2 Department of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tuscon AZ
Abstract: Marek’s disease virus (MDV) is the causative agent of Marek’s disease (MD), a complex pathology of chickens characterized by paralysis, immunosuppression, and T-cell lymphomagenesis. MD is controlled in poultry production via vaccines administered in ovo or at hatch, and these confer protection against lymphoma formation, but not superinfection by MDV field strains. Despite vaccine-induced humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, mechanisms eliciting systemic protection remain unclear. Here we report the contents of serum exosomes to assess their possible roles as indicators of systemic immunity, and alternatively, tumor formation. We examined the RNA and protein content of serum exosomes from CVI988 (Rispens)-vaccinated and protected chickens (VEX), and unvaccinated tumor-bearing chickens (TEX), via deep-sequencing and mass spectrometry, respectively. Bioinformatic analyses of miRNAs and predicted miRNA targets indicated a greater abundance of tumor suppressor miRNAs in VEX compared to TEX. Conversely, oncomiRs belonging to let-7 and miR-15-16 families, or originating from cellular (106a-363) and MDV-1 miRNA clusters were more abundant in TEX compared to VEX. Proteomic analyses indicated that insulin-like growth factor, acid-labile subunit (IGFALS) and collagen XXII 1- (COL22A1) were consistently identified in VEX, whereas pantetheinase (vanin-1) was consistently identified in TEX. These data provide important potential serum biomarkers for MD protection and susceptibility.
Keywords: Marek’s disease, Lymphoma, Exosomes, Pantetheinase, Vanin-1, Insulin-like growth factor, acid labile subunit (IGFALS), COL22A1