Working Group 1

Proteomics and Animal Health

Leader:  Dr. Fabrizio Ceciliani
Vice-Leader:  Dr Romana Turk

The focus of WG1 will be on research relevant to animal health covering biomarkers of infectious, parasitic and metabolic diseases, and genetic phenotype detection for breeding toward production goals as well as for resistance to disease. It will be expected to interact with and be fully integrated with investigations into other aspects of farm animal science such as reproduction, metabolic, microbiology, parasitology, virology, immunology and nutrition. All the major production animals will be targeted, including cattle, swine, chicken and fish.

Task 1 - Proteomics of Infectious Diseases in Farm Animals

The focus of this task lies in infectious diseases. Proteomic investigation into pathophysiological processes involved in different phases of animal-pathogen interactions will be coordinated by this working group.

Task 1 will study the whole range of infectious agents, including bacteria, parasites and viruses, as well as fungi.
Given their complexity, the characterization of proteomes of specific body fluids with potential importance to transmission or diagnosis of disease such as blood/serum, semen, urine, saliva, milk, etc, will be the subject of joint workshops with WG 3.

Understanding pathogen-host interactions at the proteomic level will provide insight into the mechanisms involved in tolerance to agents of disease or the consequences of infection, opening novel perspectives for animal scientists working towards a sustainable low veterinary input in animal production (e.g. limitation of the use of antibiotics), infectious disease control and limitation of their consequences.

Task 2 - Proteomic in Animal Production The focus of this task lies in coordinating proteomic investigation on animal diseases related to reproduction, nutrition, breeding and animal husbandry.  The application of proteomics to study of diseases induced by metabolic and environmental conditions will also be included in this Task. 

These aspects have important implication on both animal health and welfare. Information gathered in these topics will improve the definition of markers of stress, for optimal growth rates and for phenotyping of trait selection.

Specific Objectives of WG1:

  • To coordinate the application of proteomics to farm animal science.
  • To integrate proteomics with farm animal investigations in physiology, biochemistry, genomics, microbiology, virology, mycology, parasitology and immunology in health issues in farm animals.
  • To exchange experience in experimental design and data analysis in specific and aimed joint workshops with WG2 and WG3 to take advantage of the respective achievement and avoid duplication of efforts.
  • To establish an efficient network of scientists working in the field of proteomics applied to health and production of farm animals.
  • To communicate and disseminate knowledge of proteomic applications in health related issues in farm animals especially to early stage researchers, in an international forum.
  • To establish beneficial interaction between proteomic research with commercial partners in the animal health industry.
  • To exploit the techniques already available in basic science-oriented proteomics to develop more specific tools for applications in animal health.
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