Zoetis awards $100,000 grant to Iowa State to study virus characterization and immunobiology of PRRS.
ZOETIS has awarded a $100,000 PRRS Innovation Research Grant to Kyoungjin Yoon and Jianqiang Zhang, investigators at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, to conduct research into virus characterization and the immunobiology of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS).
The research project will explore the incorporation of functional genomic knowledge into sequencing practice in order to better characterize the PRRS virus and ultimately improve decision-making for intervention.
The grant will contribute to an Iowa State study, "Better Understanding of Genetic & Antigenic Relationship among PRRS Viruses & Application of Next-Generation Sequencing Technology to Characterization of PRRSV."
Since the discovery of the PRRS virus more than 20 years ago, the disease has cost the U.S. swine industry more than $664 million annually, according to a 2011 study conducted by Iowa State and funded by the pork checkoff. A lack of clear understanding of the immunobiology and epidemiology of PRRS has contributed to suboptimum prevention and control of the virus, Zoetis said.
The investigators aim to develop a procedure to sequence the complete genome of the PRRS virus and provide better insight into viral evolution, emergence, transmission and clinical significance.
"Our goal for this research project is to increase our understanding of the PRRS virus," Yoon, a professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at Iowa State, said.
Research proposals for the PRRS Innovation Research Grant were reviewed and evaluated by a qualified Zoetis committee that included virologists and PRRS technical experts. Applications were accepted from university staff, advanced study students at universities and practicing doctors of veterinary medicine conducting research in the U.S.
Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services.