Training the pig’s innate immune system to enhance vaccine mediated protection
Training the pig’s innate immune system to enhance vaccine mediated protection (PiggyTrain)
In this project it will be investigated if trained immunity in pigs can lead to an enhanced vaccine mediated protection. The collaborative partners have already worked together in the past and will continue their fruitful partnership. Scientists from Utrecht University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Immunology division will gain more knowledge on the novel concept of trained immunity in pigs and its consequences for adaptive immune responsiveness. This knowledge can be translated by Zoetis for the development or improvement of vaccines against important veterinary pathogens.
Although trained immunity has been reported in plants, invertebrates, mice, and humans, little is known about this process in species of veterinary relevance. This is surprising, since in livestock farming vaccination of young animals is common practice. Since these young animals lack a fully developed adaptive immune system innate immune responsiveness is likely to play a dominant role in shaping vaccine mediated protection.
In this project assays will be developed to measure trained immunity in pigs. Both the function of immune cells and DNA modification will be investigated. In the next phase, these assays will be used to determine the capacity of vaccine components to induce trained immunity. Selected components will then be used to compare trained immunity in very young pigs and older pigs. Optionally, knowledge acquired in this project can be validated in an in vivo proof-of-principle experiment to study whether trained immunity will result in enhanced immune responses upon vaccination.