Respiratory tract diseases are the single most important cause of economic loss due to infections among poultry populations worldwide. However, the molecular mechanisms of the host response to infections remain unknown. Here, we review the literature and describe the adoption of a conceptually simple approach to understand the genetic and biochemical responses of host cells during infection with respiratory pathogens, such as avian pneumovirus (APV). The strategy that we have adopted integrates the powerful techniques of cDNA subtraction hybridization and microarray analysis for global transcriptional profiling. The results of our investigations identify the specific transcriptional alterations in host-cell gene expression that result from an attempt by the host to combat and limit the spread of the pathogen or by the pathogen to enhance its own survival and ability to reproduce. Our studies suggest that a molecular description of host-pathogen interactions in terms of differential gene expression will provide key insights on the molecular basis of disease pathogenesis, pathogen virulence, and host immunity. In addition, the results suggest that the identification of genes and pathways with a role in host response to infection has considerable practical implications for the future design and development of effective immunomodulators and vaccines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology